Chicken Rolls

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My son is mad about deep fried foods. If sometimes he gets bored with his meal, I just have to offer him crackers, or any deep fried snacks, and his appetite will come back shortly 😀 That’s why I always have to keep my homemade frozen foods ready in my freezer. Forgive me, I’m that kind of mum who won’t let her kid eats crappy frozen chicken nuggets from supermarket. I choose to spend about 2 – 3 hours in the weekend for cooking and preparing homemade frozen food stocks, instead of letting my son eats something that even I cannot explain what contains inside.

So last week I made a batch of chicken rolls. I actually used shrimp rolls recipe but I replaced the shrimp with chicken mince because my son is allergic to seafood. Chicken rolls may look like chicken nuggets, but as they contain spring onions and sesame oil, they have distinctive flavour. They’re my son’s all time favourite! When I’m in a rush to prepare his lunch, I usually make him a “quickie soup” (I put whatever veggies left in my fridge and boil them in the chicken stocks) and fry some chicken rolls as side dishes.

photo-9Take a peek at my son’s lunch today. We got some chores to do so I had to bring his lunch on the go. I cooked chicken meatball soup with carrots and broccoli. I also added the chicken rolls to his lunch box, just in case he’s not in the mood to eat his soup. Everything’s contained perfectly in my Lock & Lock Lunch Box. This lunch box set is my favourite! 😀 It has perfect size for my son’s portions. It’s also leak-proof, so I don’t have to worry carrying soupy dishes inside. Those 3 containers really accommodate my needs. I used the 360 ml round container for steamed rice, the 220 ml dish container for the soup, and the 220 ml divided dish container for the chicken rolls. They’re all packed inside the insulated bag, which can keep them warm for several hours. So my bag is packed I’m ready to go!

 

Ingredients

–       250 g chicken mince. I used 250 g of chicken breasts and “minced” them with my food processor

–       2 spring onions, thinly sliced

–       25 g all purpose flour

–       1 tablespoon egg white

–       ½ teaspoon sugar

–       ½ teaspoon salt

–       ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

–       ½ teaspoon pure sesame oil

–       1 clove garlic, finely chopped

–       2 eggs, loosely beaten

–       oil to fry

–       aluminium foils

 

For Coating:

–       50 g all purpose flour

–       1 egg, loosely beaten

–       50 g coarse bread crumbs. I used panko crumbs.

 

How to Make

  1. Mix the chicken mince, spring onions, 25 g flour, 1 tbsp egg white, sugar, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and garlic into a bowl.
  2. Make 3 thin “crepes” from 2 loosely beaten eggs. You will use these egg “crepes” as sheets or wrappers. So, be extra careful to not making any holes.
  3. Divide the chicken mixture into 3 equal portions. Spread the chicken mixture evenly on the egg “crepe” and roll the “crepe” tightly. Repeat the same steps to the other “crepes”.
  4. Wrap the chicken roll with aluminium foils. Be sure that the chicken roll is fully covered with foils at both ends.
  5. Steam the chicken rolls for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Let them cool completely.
  6. Do the bias/diagonal cut to the chicken rolls so you will have 3 cm-thick pieces.photo-10
  7. Coat the chicken pieces in coating flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them into the egg, and then press them into the panko crumbs until well coated on both sides.
  8. You can now freeze them. Arrange the chicken rolls in a single layer on a baking tray, cover with cling film, and set in the deep freezer. Once frozen, remove the chicken rolls from the baking tray and store in Ziploc/freezer-safe bags. Return to the freezer and cook from frozen.

 

 

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Lunch Box Heaven: The Way to Make Your Kids Devour Their Lunch

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My most memorable childhood memory was my mum’s homemade foods, specifically, her homemade foods inside my lunch box. Yes, she was that great in preparing my to go lunch. While my friends constantly had instant noodles or boring chicken nuggets as their lunch, I triumphantly ate various lunch menus from day to day. There was a great pride to unpack my lunch box and find the today’s “surprise” inside it.

Please do not imagine fancy bento or intricate shape sandwiches as my lunches back then. No, my mum was not an expert in doing “crafty” things like that. She just put her best efforts in cooking me various, and of course delicious, menu everyday. I used to have 6 different meals a week (yes, I had to go to school on Saturday). That, my friend, was my mum’s ultimate way to win my heart and make me clean off my lunch box, every single day.

I know that some of you, maybe, are totally freaking out about preparing your kid’s lunch box for his first week of school. What should I prepare? Will he eat it during break time? What if he doesn’t like it? And so on.. Please, do relax. And if I could give you my friendly advice: Do not take a peek on Pinterest for lunch box ideas, unless you want to feel like the most uncreative and laziest mum alive! 😀

Right, so how did I do to prepare my kid’s lunch box? As you know that being a working mum left me with little time to cook everyday, so here are several tips from me to save your time from worrying much about your kid’s lunch box tomorrow 😀

1. My son is not a picky eater, but you know how kids are. One day he randomly loves something, but the next day he can totally hates it. Strange, I know. The only key to cope this is “variety”. Try to pack a different lunch, or snack, everyday. You don’t have to cook a very distinct menu everyday; just a slight of modification would be perfect.

For example, I know that my son recently loves to eat bread for his snacks. So, for one whole week I will prepare different kind of sandwiches for him. Or you can prepare one staple recipe that can be transformed into many possibilities. I’ve posted here before about my versatile meat sauce. This sauce itself can be used to cook many other meals, for instance: pouring over pasta/rice/baked potatoes, layering up lasagna, or using this sauce as filling to make meat pies.

You can also encourage your kids to help choose and prepare their own lunch. They might like to make a list of the foods they enjoy. Kids who help choose and prepare their own lunch are more likely to eat it! 😀

 

bento-panda-pick2. Ask yourself, how does my kid eat his lunch at school? Please make sure that their foods are manageable and easy to eat. Some kids, like my kid, don’t like getting sticky or dirty hands while eating. You also have to consider that there are limited times for kids to eat during the day, especially at school. They may prefer to play with friends instead of eating. To subdue this problem, you can cut the foods into one-bite portions, and don’t forget to prepare a proper cutlery along with the meals.

For example, sliced fruits or peeled oranges are easier to be eaten by small kids. Cute toothpicks can be used to prick the fruits. Plus, they look nicer.

3. Invest in a good lunch box. No matter how much effort you put on cooking homemade meals for your kid, it will end up useless if they don’t come up with proper packaging. You really don’t want mushy sandwiches as your lunch, do you? A good lunch box will also last a long time and keep the food inside cold or warm, because in most cases, food is stored in lunch box for several hours.

These following tips from Wikihow.com give me some good considerations in selecting the right lunch box:

  1. Get a lunch box that is insulated, or one with a freezer pack. Otherwise, water bottle can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunch box cool.
  2. Consider how many pockets and divisions you want. Do you want to stack things or place them side-by-side? Do you want everything in one compartment or do you want to keep certain things separate? Do you need a separate pocket for a napkin or fork? Do you need features to contain an ice pack or keep a beverage bottle from tipping?
  3. Choose something sturdy. Plan to use it for at least a full year.
  4. Try out the handles, straps, and any closures. Make sure they will make a loaded lunchbox easy, comfortable, and secure to carry (won’t pop open or tip over).
  5. Choose a lunch box that can contain spills. If your soup or drink leaks, or if that nice, squishy fruits gets squished, at least the mess will be contained and not all over the rest of your stuff.
  6. Choose something washable. For heavy use, this may mean a hard-sided mini cooler, but many soft-sided lunchboxes have plastic or foil liners that can be wiped down and even removed for cleaning.
  7. Choose something with style. For kids, choose something fun. A favorite cartoon character might be worth the extra expense if it helps convince your younger one that what’s inside is fun. For older kids, it’s probably best to let them choose the style, so long as it fits everything it needs to. But don’t forget, kids’ lunch box should be easy to be opened by themselves. Believe me, I’ve dealt with series of cute lunch boxes that are so difficult to be handled by 3-year-old kid, and they all turned out useless.

 

 

photo-7Well, with several considerations described above, you may think that finding the perfect lunch box is far away from an easy job. Thank God I’m done with all the “researches” 😀 May I introduce you to my favourite lunch box: Lunch Box Set from Lock & Lock! This lunch box set contains:

  • 1 insulated bag. The inside of the bag is made of aluminum foil, which helps preserving the food inside cold or warm. It also comes with a perfect-size handle to help carrying the bag conveniently to the school;
  • 360 ml round container that has outlet of water vapor so that you can open it easily. Just lift up lightly and the water vapor will go out;
  • 220 ml divided dish container that has division inside it so you can put different meals side-by-side; and
  • 220 ml dish container.

The containers are airtight and have double locking system to keep the food fresh for long hours. They’re also leak-proof, highly durable, and easy to clean. And one more feature that will make you please, this lunch box material is safe for changes in temperature -20 °C to 100°C for use in microwave, freezer and dishwasher! Plus, the material is also BPA free. So, no more worries, Mum!

lock---lock-bento-multi-round-lunch-box-set-with-3-containers---small-bag---green-lock---lock-bento--leopjaThe size of this lunch box is so ideal for my son’s portion. His school time ends before lunchtime. So everyday, I just have to prepare some snacks to be eaten during his break time at 10 a.m. I usually use only the 220 ml dish container for mini sandwiches, or mini pies, and the 220 ml divided dish container for 2 different sliced fruits, or 2 different kinds of small biscuits. Because I don’t use the 360 ml round container, I have extra space inside the bag to put his water bottle.

If I have to carry his lunch on the move (yes, even he can eat table foods by his age now, I try my best that he eats my own homemade foods everyday), I usually use the 360 ml round container for storing steamed rice, the 220 ml dish container for soup, and the 220 ml divided dish container for other side meals or sliced fruits.

Healthy lunches and snacks are important for active kids. It is important to help them concentrate and learn at school. You know you could make your kids enjoy their healthy meals by creating the lunch box heaven…. We can do it! 🙂

 

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Mango Morning “Sangria”

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Have I told you that mango is my MOST favourite fruit? I guess I have 😀  Too bad we’re not having mango season in Indonesia right now. But as I’m easy to please, my mango craving actually could be cured by having a good shop-bought carton mango juice. In fact, I have to have this kind of juice sitting in my fridge on a daily basis.

Few days ago, I tried to make something “special” with this mango juice. I’m in the need of a good mood booster to face Monday morning, and this treat always helps. This easy-to-make recipe will cause no mess in your hectic morning. You actually just have to chop some fruits and plunge them in the mango juice, or whatever juice you like. Breakfast is served and everyone’s happy! Well who doesn’t love to have a glass of colourful fruits floating on sweet refreshing juice as their breakfast? My husband called this as mango “sangria”, cause the floating fruits remind us of the famous beverage from Spain 😀

I decided to bring this “sangria” to my office. Hope that it will avoid me from munching unhealthy snacks before lunch time 😀  To store my “sangria”, I use my trustworthy Bisfree bottle from Lock & Lock. This eco-friendly product uses BPA free material made of “Tritan”, a copolyester material that is safe for humans and the environmental and spotlighted as a new generation of safe plastics. Ever since my son was born, I tried my best to use only BPA free containers to store foods and/or drinks. There’s no doubt that we live in a plastic world. From the toothbrush, to the computer keyboard at the office. Everything is made from plastic. Until recently, the abundance of plastic wasn’t a pressing health concern, despite being on our environmental radar. Now a growing body of research links the chemicalBPA, commonly found in a variety of consumer products, to a range of human health problems, including a higher risk of certain cancers, reduced fertility, birth defects and diabetes ( source: Neimark, Zandonella ).

Lucky me, I finally found the Bisfree products from Lock & Lock. My 480 ml Lock & Lock Bisfree water bottle is a perfect companion for my outdoor activities. It is the ultimate way to keep my water fresh and clean wherever I go and whenever I want.

 

Ingredients of Mango “Sangria”

–       Chopped fruits. Berries would be perfect, but you can also use apple, grape, kiwi, star fruit, lemon, or orange. But please, don’t use bananas. 😀

–       Mango juice, or whatever juice you like.

 

How to Make

Still don’t know how to make it? Just chopped your selected fruits, plunge them into your preferable juice, and…. that’s all you have to do! Take a sip and enjoy your morning! 😀

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Ovomaltine and Skippy Cupcakes: A cheat recipe to fulfil your sugar craving!

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My son definitely has a sweet tooth. No wonder. I bake sweet treats regularly, and there are always chocolate and/or ice cream supplies in my fridge. My fault, I know. But I keep telling to myself that as long as he has balanced diet, it would be fine 😀

A couple of weeks ago, I was coming home late from my work. I brought some shop-bought chocolate cupcakes for my son as a “late-arriving gift” :D. He ate all of them, happily. The next morning was my day off, so I decided to bake chocolate cupcakes for him. But actually I was too lazy, and too tired also, to make fancy frosting for the cupcakes. So I used this cheat idea to frost the cupcakes. I spread Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream and Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter as substitutes for the frosting. They have, more or less, same consistency as buttercream frosting, so they would be perfectly fit to be spread on top of the cupcakes. To finish off, I also sprinkled some chopped Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. These cupcakes look and taste reaaallly good with barely any effort!

 

Ingredients

–      For chocolate cupcakes ingredients, see here

–      Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream

–      Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter

–      Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars

–      Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

How to Make

  1. Bake the cupcakes, see here for the method.
  2. Cool the cupcakes on the wire rack. Give them some time to lose their heat, because warm cupcakes will melt the “frosting”.
  3. Spread the cupcakes with Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream or Skippy “Super Chunk” Peanut Butter, whatever you choose. I guess 2-heaped teaspoons will be enough to frost 1 cupcakes.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped chocolates. I use chopped Ovomaltine Choc Ovo Bars for my Ovomaltine cupcakes and chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for my Skippy cupcakes. Andddd.. you’re done! 😀

 

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Free yourself from unsafe plastic containers!

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Before my son is born, I didn’t have any knowledge at all about the safe and unsafe plastic food or water containers. I used to use whatever plastic containers that I thought has cute patterns (such a girly thing I know :p). When I was pregnant and looked for a good brand of baby bottle, I read in so many parenting forums or articles that whatever brand you’ll have, the most important thing is you should get the BPA free baby bottles. But what is BPA anyway?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely produced chemical used primarily for the production of polycarbonate plastics. The use of this chemical is so profound that it was detected in the urine in 93% of the population over 6 years of age. However, the health risks of BPA have been receiving considerable attention. It has long been known that previous studies done on lab animals showed that BPA could cause genetic damage. BPA has also been linked to cancer, diabetes, and obesity. High temperatures can cause BPA to leach into the food or beverage.* That’s why it’s not safe to use baby bottles made of BPA.

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look at these adorable patterns! 😀

Now my son is not baby anymore and no longer using any baby bottles. But using BPA free plastic containers will always be my concern. Thank God that Lock & Lock introduced the Bisfree water bottle collection. Bisfree is a BPA free material made of “Tritan”. Tritan itself is a new material developed by a well-known chemical manufacturer, Eastman Chemical. It’s safe for humans and the environmental and spotlighted as a new generation of safe plastics. It has the plastic’s advantages of lightness and durability, plus high transparency similar to glass. And not only BPA free, these Bisfree water bottles from Lock & Lock also come in refined colour, sophisticated design, and very cuteee patterns! I squeal in delight seeing their wide range of colours and patterns. These bottles are great for outdoor activities as they have convenient carrying strap and grip bottle cap to make transporting them easy and comfortable.IMG_9431

I’ve already had a 480 ml Lock & Lock Bisfree water bottle with comes in a light green cap, blue carrying strap, and airplanes pattern (they call it “Gliding” pattern actually). My son has a big admiration to airplanes recently, that’s why he loves this bottle so much. But I have to admit that sometimes I sneakily borrow his bottle 😀 Just like I did this morning. Every Sunday morning in Jakarta is a car-free day that closes the main avenue of the city from cars. We love cycling, running, or just casually walking on the streets that normally full of cars and traffic. We brought my husband and my son’s folding bikes and I also didn’t forget to take my strawberry and lemon infused water stored inside the Lock & Lock Bisfree water bottle. This bottle really helps to keep my infused water safe, fresh and clean wherever I go! 😀

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