Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hippo - Bento No. 182

It is sandwich day. My boy loves corn loaf from Gardenia. I seldom buy it and it was during the school outing that the children get to eat it as snack. Needless to say, when I went to convenience shop, he would ask me to buy corn bread for him. This hippo is made of one and half slice of bread. I spread some butter on one side and browned it on a pan. Then I cut out the shape and sandwich it with fried egg and cheddar cheese. I also used some egg to make its ear too. Lastly, I dry-fried Angelhair pasta to pin the ears on the bread. The nostrils are actually blueberries! I prepared the thousand island sauce to go with his tomatoes and cucumbers (underneath the bread). He also has his favourite black grapes and apple vitagen.

I am getting a bit of nervous as my boy's birthday gets closer. He will celebrate it in his school with his friends. My first attempt to bake cupcakes with edible images and also my first time, twisting balloons for his classmates. Quite fun and interesting but I have to overcome the fear of balloons being burst! Ouch!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Butterfly and sushi

Bento No. 181

My son loves tamagoyaki and sometimes, it does not turn out nicely because I used only one egg for his lunch. I would create something out of it depending on its appearance. In this instance, the egg white is still visible on it (maybe I did not beat long enough).  Hence, I made a pair butterfly wings using a musical foodpick to hold together.  And cucumber to represent its antenna.  A green baran divider for the background. He has his usual crabstick sushi, edamame and black grapes.

Last Saturday, we went to United World College East campus for a soccer trial class and ended signing up for the lessons with JSSL Arsenal Soccer School.  It started at 9 am at the Astroturf.  Gosh! the sun was scorching hot. But the boys were busy kicking the footballs. Paul Parker, an England international and Premier League player, was present. A friendly guy with a British accent. Haha, he too commented that the weather was unbearable that day. Next Saturday, my son will be very very busy and hopefully, not over-exerted because in the morning he has soccer and in the evening, he starts his swimming lesson.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cat and Train

Bento No. 179

Bento No. 180
We have a new TV programme for preschooler known as "Mat Yoyo" in four languages; English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.  And I discovered that it was telecast during the 80s in Malay language and so popular that it ran for whopping 12 years. The show has two lovable cats named Yo Yo and Ya Ya.  After watching it for a couple of times, my boy began to sing the song too.  But he still could not grasp the lyrics correctly.  Inspired by the series, I made a cat with brown rice onigiri for his lunch yesterday.  Decorated with carrot for its ear, cheese/nori for its facial and a blue cap foodpick.  On the side, my son has steamed egg with minced meat, blanched cauliflower, star carrots, dragonfruit and cara cara orange.

Today is the Choo Choo train sandwich bento.  And my son asked me "Are the animals going to the Zoo?"  Guess, he is the one who wish to visit the Zoo again.  He loves going to the Zoo be it rain or shine.  It is top on his list for places to go over the weekends.  We have already had the memberships for the Zoo, Bird Park and Science Center!  Normally, he would have wholemeal bread or black sesame bread.  But I got him the 'butter' bread from Yamazaki for a change (well, it is certainly fattening!).  Filled with Tuna mayo, emmental cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Plus his favourite chocolate milk.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baked salmon and sweet potato

Bento No. 178
Recently, my Sony Erisson W995 mobile is not functioning properly.  It will automatically switch off and the screen has those pixel issue like those of pirated CDs. The worst part is that its letters and colour are defaced totally and even hanged!  (Honestly, I dropped my phone many times :P)  I tried my luck today and it seems working normally.  So I quickly snapped a picture of the bento that I prepared in the morning.  I am thinking of getting a smart phone after hearing from my ex-colleague, Hazel that it is SOooo good and convenient.  Nowadays, everyone has either a iphone or smart phone.  Erm, being a housewife, I am way behind the trend....

My boy's lunch simply consists of baked salmon with salt and black pepper, baked sweet potato, blanched cauliflower/asparagus/star carrot, a korean strawberry and US cara cara orange.  Speaking of which, it is one of my son's favourite fruit and he finished all of it yesterday night after dinner.  Can you imagine it is one whole orange.  I came across this US cara cara orange in NTUC and immediately bought it although it is on the pricey side as compared to the naval oranges.  It has a beautiful, rich, red pulp which I often saw it packed in the bento box at 'Happy Little Bento' blog. My son decorated his lunch with animal foodpicks :)  Cool!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Thoughts : Food and School

Looking back I have been preparing for my son's bento for two years, it is sad that I cannot do it any more when he started his K1 at Soka Kindergarten next year. (We had registered our interest at the Open House, 11th March 2012).  The school does not allow outside food and all the kids have to eat whatever they cooked.  But I was assured that there are all healthy food at least.  Papa is also not supportive of making homecooked food/bento at all because he felt that our boy is too pampered with all the nice and decorative food. I felt so discouraged and depressed after that.  But I really enjoyed making bento for my son's lunch.  Not only it looks pretty and cute.  Most importantly, my boy loves it and I know for sure that he has all the nutrients he required. And I am blessed that he is now fit like a fiddle!

We are going to miss his current preschool, Wee Care Kindergarten.  He has been with them since he was baby around 8 or 9 months starting with the playgroups.  I can vividly remember taking the bus/mrt to/from the school who was then located at Devoshire Road which was just across the Somerset MRT station.  My son enjoyed the ride and the journey to school although it took an hour or so to reach.  Occasionally, he would refuse to walk and I had to piggy back him some times.  Or distracted him with something interesting like the squirrels, a rare encounter at Somerset. I would hang around the school or went shopping around orchard road whilst waiting for him to finish his lesson.  I love the preschool because they will snap some pictures during the lessons and forward it to us.  The teachers did a fantastic job whom constantly providing me with feedbacks.  And they are more willing to share with me what did he learn in school, how did he response and any naughty/hilarious moments.   Despite the fact that my son fell sick a couple of times in the beginning which really worried us at one point in time, I asked myself if he was too young to start proper schooling.  Our main objective is for him to mingle around and play with other children  and at the same time, expose him to a learning environment that is rich in its curriculum.  He was the youngest and with the smallest built in class there and then.  But now, he is big and the tallest taking care of the younger ones.  We are pleased to learn from the teacher that he is like a big brother and setting a good example for the little ones.  Later, the school moved to a new premises at the Tanglin Post Office building.  And I started driving to/from school after a less than a week of crash course with my husband with constant scolding and reprimanding.  And I even got myself lost (missed a turn) at Bukit Timah Road on the way to school one day that I had to call my hubby for directions. The aunty and staff witnessed the whole process.  I was so embarrassed when I finally found my way to the preschool afer an hour of misadventure.  Now, my driving skills is better but still lacking of sense of directions :P

Indeed, my son learnt very well in the preschool and he has blossomed into a well-behaved boy with good character.  Thanks to the teachers and staff.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mickey Mouse

Bento No. 177
The March school holiday is just another few days away.  I can see a lots of enrichment workshops, programs and even movies/shows are flooded in the daily newspaper and FB.  The last musical live performance my son watched was "The Wiggles", a popular Australian children musical group in 2010.  He was only two years then. There were a lots of songs, dancing, acrobatics despite that the oldest member of the group, Jeff Fatt was 56 years old. But, they rocked!  I still remember that my son was frightened off by the loud music at the beginning of the show.  And we also bought a wiggles hat for him :)  This year, I am looking at "Disney on Ice" or "The Three Little Pigs" theatre and my boy chose the former. Gonna to buy tickets soon!  So here is his lunch with a mickey mouse that is made from emmental cheese using sandwich cutter.  He has a bowl of bowtie pasta with tomato sauce, some boiled star shape carrots and broccoli.

We notice lately that my boy is able to build/create planes, animals ..etc with lego blocks.  And it gets better each day.  This is one of his masterpiece; a dinosaur.  A very peculiar one!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Teriyaki chicken sushi

Bento No. 176
In Australia, you will find teriyaki chicken sushi in almost every sushi eateries.  But there is none in Singapore.  Perhaps, it is more adapted for Aussie palate.  Here, I made my own teriyaki chicken sprinkled some black and white sesame and rolled it with cucumber strips.  There are also edamame, oranges and grapes in his bento. 

Recently, my husband and myself are too concerned over my boy's progress of learning after checking out a few preschool that we actually give additional coaching at home.  Papa teaches numeric and I, writing alphabets.  We seems to be over-reacted during the coaching that my son always ends up tearing if he did not perform well.  I felt sorry for the first time and began soul searching - Are we giving too much pressure?  I understand from my hubby that it is MOE standards that by four years of age, the kid should be able to write, read and spell a few simple words.  This is the reason why we behaved like 'kiasu' parents.  I also talked to the teacher at his preschool and am assured my son is progressing and improving everyday.  Perhaps, we should be more encouraging and sensitive to his feelings instead of insisting in producing the end-result that we desire.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Bento No. 175

Lion is still one of my son's favourite animal that often requested in his bento.  Here I used boiled sausage to make its hair and two type of cheese (cheddar and emmental)/nori for this facial.  But I forget to add its ears! :p  I suppose to make a flower out of the hotdog but I cut too near to the edge that it breaks off.  Therefore, I improvised it by rearranging around the head to look like its hair.  Then I used a bone foodpick to secure both sides and a slice of corn bread (underneath) together.  I prepared my own thousand island sauce to go with his salad; cucumbers, tomatoes and lettues.  He also got his favourite chocolate milk and fruits; oranges and grapes. 

Last Saturday, we went to his classmate, Jake's birthday party bash.  But we were late for half an hour and the Mr Bottle magic show has already started.  (I should be blamed for not being punctual because I asked my son to write a card.  And he took quite a while to perfect it the way I like it that I forgot about the time. )  Nonetheless, he was still able to catch the highlight,  "Talking Cake" at the magic show.  My boy thoroughly enjoyed and was amazed by the magic show.  Jake's has a stunning Ben and Jerry 3D cake that the children just cannot keep their hands off the cake.   After the cake cutting ceremony, the kids began to queue up in front of the Balloon Man.  My boy patiently waited for this turn and happily, requested for an 'orange' T-rex.  Before we left, he also received his 'cooliest' goodie bag that contained glow sticks, tattoo stickers, stencil and a "Grow Pals".  This is really interesting.  A ducky toy that can grow from the water and also can shrink when allow it to dry.

My boy's birthday is coming soon in April 8 and so is Papa which falls on April 9, one day after my son.  He will be celebrating in school as usual because Papa is not in favour of throwing a party. Gosh! There are a lot of things to do/think about for both of their birthdays.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Red fermented bean curd Chicken drumstick and Crepe

Bento No. 173

Recently, my boy's daily bento consists of lesser white rice other than the sushi and fried rice.  The latter, being one of his favourite, will certainly be included in his lunch occasionally.  This bento was prepared yesterday with baked red fermented beancurd chicken drumstick, blanched broccolli/carrot, baked fries and grapes.  No rice!!  I love the red fermented bean curd aroma coming from my oven when I baked it.  We had the same during dinner and the two monsters (Papa and my boy) clean up the drumsticks in seconds. 

Bento No. 174
Towards the end of the week, I always run out of ideas and also there is not much ingredient left in my fridge.  I wanted to make wholemeal crepe with scrambled egg fillings but failed to do so.  Because the crepe is too thick and heavy to be rolled.  And the result, haha, I use the heart and star shape cookie cutter to cut it from the 'crepe' and lay them nicely in the lunchbox.  On other side is scrambled egg with cherry tomatoes, onion and green pea and the other end are apples and grapes. Plus a vitagen drink.   I know it look more like a breakfast rather than a lunch. 

I mentioned in my earlier blog that I went preschool hunting.  The first kindergarten I visited is Bethesda Katong kindergarten after seeing so many good reviews from the internet.  It was founded in 1953 and we met the principal, Ms Irene Wee, who gladly showed us around the teaching classes, music class (instructor was formerly taught in kindermusik), art and craft, assemble hall, computer room..etc.  It has quite a sizeable outdoor playground with sandpit that I like. The morning session 8.15am to 11.15am are full now.  It left with only the afternoon session 11.30am to 2.30pm which I am not keen at all.  We observed that some children idle around before moving to the next lesson/classs whilst waiting for the weakest one to finish the homework.  Somehow, we felt that there is something lacking i.e. 'energy' and 'enthusiasm' personally (without prejudice).  Probably, it is pure coincidence or the wrong timing of the day, I am not sure about it.   Well, the other preschool in our list is Soka Kindergarten and we are going to their open house which falls on 11 March 2012.  On not so bright side, my son is not willing to change school when we talked to him about it <haiz>.