Archive | April 2011

Summery salad Saturday

Having unearthed a 2001 Vogue Entertaining cookbook given by my sister-in-law some Christmases back, while unpacking, I sat down to thumb the pages for inspiration for Saturday’s dinner.

The original recipe called for raw basil, watercress, radicchio and mint, all of which I didn’t have on hand, and the first an herb I am not fond of, so I substituted with cooked round leaf spinach and garden peas. Not very vogue perhaps, but definitely more kid tummy-friendly, I felt.

Mum-in-law liked it and so did the kids, so for what it’s worth, here is my family-winning unvogue version of summery Saturday salad. 😉

  • 6 cooked chicken breast fillets, cooled
  • Round spinach leaves, quantity as you see fit
  • A handful of garden peas
  • One large orange, peeled and diced finely
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and diced finely
  • A few glugs of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and a dash of dried oregano
  1. To make cooked chicken breast fillets, lightly marinate chicken with some sea salt, set a pot of water to boil, toss in the chicken and let it cook for approximately 15 minutes, till the meat turns white.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, soak and wash spinach and garden peas. When cooked, remove chicken from pot, toss in spinach and garden peas to cook. Set aside chicken to cool.
  3. Peel and dice the orange and tomatoes.
  4. To assemble, tear chicken into thin slices into a salad bowl. Add in cooked spinach and garden peas. Add in diced oranges and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Season with a few glugs of olive oil, sea salt and black pepper to taste. I also scattered some dried oregano over it. Finally, add in the apple cider vinegar, which gives it a nice little bite.

I usually like to maintain a “one carbo, two veg, one meat and one fish” meal structure, so on the side is some oven-baked sea bream, freshly bought from the market that day, and boiled potatoes. I suppose if I’d wanted to do the whole fine dining plating business, I’d gently rest the baked sea bream atop a nice little pesto infused potato puree, and garnish with some baby sorrel leaves, etc, etc.

But for now, I’m just a simple hungry girl who can’t wait to eat. Maybe another day. 😉

In my world: Animals in the garden

yeah…I still haven’t gotten round to cleaning the crayon-ed spot… 😛


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.

Preschooler Art: Study in Gi

Whimsical by DD.

Pencil sketching by DS.

Kids Say: AI YAA

DS gets a kick out of drawing on his sister’s drawing sheet, so we often find her work with some signature scrawls on the side by her brother. Often, she calls for our help to mediate, but this one afternoon –

DD: Di Di, no! Don’t…cannot!
DS: *screams*
DD: Hey! Don’t do that…you see…AI YAA! *clicking her tongue*

That last exclamation and expression was altogether intriguing. Enough to make me drop what I was doing and run immediately to the room.
And I arrived to see…


Upset that his sister managed to wrestle her sheet of paper away, DS had picked up a crayon in frustration and drawn over the carpet.

Ai yaa.

Now how am I going to clean that?

Wordcraft: I for Iguana

So lately, we’ve been listening to this clip from Youtube. It’s highly catchy, I can’t get the tune out of my head.

I’m an iguaa-naaaa
Down in Galapagos
I’m an iguaa-naaaa
Seaweed I li-ike the most

To make an iguana, you will need the following materials: Coloured paper in two different shades of green (would be great, but not compulsory), pencil, scissors, googly eyes, glue, artblock sheet, a few shades of green colour pencils.

1. On your green sheet of paper, draw an iguana. Cut out the iguana and set aside.

2. On the second sheet of green paper in a different shade, cut out some long and short spikes.

3. Apply glue and paste the iguana onto the artblock sheet. Paste on the googly eye.

4. Next, paste on the spikes.

5. Add little details like scales, with the green colour pencils.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, why no book this week…

I did find this book, Inch by Inch, written and illustrated by Leo Lionni at the local library.

Awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1960, it’s about a clever inchworm who inches his way out of danger and saves himself from being eaten by the birds.
There is potential to teach basic measurements in math, but we are still thinking how to do it, as DH is a tad worried about confusing the children with English vs. metric measurements. 

Anyway, while I do know an inchworm is not really a worm but is a type of caterpillar…does anyone know if an inchworm really is an inch long? I am curious to find out!

Muffin Tin Meals

Nowadays with DD going to school and us going to work on weekdays, Saturdays has become the day to wake up late. Well, later than the normal 7am anyway. (I think waking up at eight on a Saturday is still pretty early by most standards!)

After a leisurely breakfast, we made a quick trip to the neighbourhood library to return books and borrow new ones, and got back at 11:15am.  With both kids and DH declaring they were hungry, (Does reading make one hungry? Breakfast was just done at 8:40…) I gave myself thirty minutes to get lunch cooked, plated and out on the table.

This is not a new idea, it has been circulating around the net and blogs for a real long time. But I never tried it out till now. I thought it might be fun, and the kids were pretty thrilled to be eating out of Mommy’s baking tins. But I also wonder how one can come up with new ideas to consistently fill 12 compartments with 12 different items each week…

Maybe they buy smaller muffin tins.  But right now, it seems like a pretty frivolous purchase to me to buy two smaller muffin tins, unless I’m planning to make this a regular event. Everyone eats just fine out of regular plates, thankfully.

Anyway, in our trays (split up into two servings each) –

  • Bowtie pasta in tomato based sauce
  • Grilled halibut
  • Scrambled eggs with finely chopped green veggies, fresh tomatoes, and cheese melted in
  • Homemade meatballs (hurray for leftovers from Friday’s dinner)
  • Slices of red apple

The adults (DH and myself) ate the same stuff, but in regular plates. 🙂

In my world: Cushion fort

When I was little, I would gather all the cushions off the sofa in the living room of my home, and build myself a fort under the staircase.

We don’t have a staircase now, but we do have a sofa…

and I can’t help but smile when I see history repeat itself in my children’s cushion fort, on the sofa, underneath the window. 🙂


Sometimes in the middle of cleaning the rooms, I discover little gems left behind by the children. This Friday series was started with the intention of celebrating the imagination and creativity in a young child’s world…and hoping that it’ll bring a little ray of inspiration and joy to your day, as it does mine.