Moist Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are in season! S$10 for 4 punnets. Very good deal and the berries are very plump and juicy too. What best to do with 4 punnets than using it for muffins.

When I told boys mummy baking Blueberry Muffins, they were happy! Zach even took 2 muffins to school today I am lazy to use my beater not that I have to wash them but just feeling bleah. You know.. I get these moments more lately. Hate it.. been slacking.

I used recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. Very good muffin and naturally I reduced the sugar by almost half. It is also very easy to bake. Less than an hour including baking and you get moist muffins.

Banana flavored milk

Moist Blueberry Muffins (makes 6 medium sized muffins) - recipe adapted from here
*I have tweaked the recipe slightly to suit my taste and ingredients availability

1 1/2 cup cake flour (I used cake flour instead)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup banana milk (I used the famous Korean brand banana milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 punnets of blueberries
some coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

- Preheat oven to 210C and line muffin pan with cupcake liners
- Whisk all the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder and salt
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg and sugar until combined.
- Add in the remaining wet ingredients; coconut oil, milk & vanilla extract
- Create a well in the flour and pour the wet mixture into the flour.

This is the part where we need to be careful not to overmix. You want moist and soft muffins and not dense.

- Mix until no visible pockets of flour can be seen.
- Add in blueberries and give it a few quick stir
- Pour batter into prepared tin, sprinkle coarse sugar on top.
- Bake at 210C for 5 minutes before lowering temperature to 180C and bake for additional 20 minutes

Try it.. definitely a keeper!

Homemade Fish Paste

A check with most of my friends with kids confirmed my conclusion that kids loves fishballs. No one understood why.. both Zachary and Kieran loves fishballs. Everytime you ask them what they like to have for lunch or dinner the answer will be standard answer: Noodles with soup and fishballs. :|

My mom always tell us that fishballs sold outside have an added ingredients which when taken in large quantity is not good for health. I decided to be more hardworking than usual (tsk tsk) and make my own fish paste over the weekend. Googled alot of method to prepare fish paste and most of it used corn flour but I omitted them.

It was fairly easy to make fish paste. I bought mackarel or batang from wet market and get the uncle to cut it into fillet. Using ceramic spoon (Chinese soup spoon) scrape off the flesh, becareful of small bones. You can use back of the cleaver or food processor (I used the latter because I don't own a cleaver). Much much faster.

Mince the fish paste and add the same time add salted water (1 tsp salt and half cup of water) bit by bit. The fish paste should be sticky. That is the consistency that we are looking for.

Scrape the paste into a bowl and do the 'throwing' exercise. Haha.. think about someone that you dislike, pick up the paste and throw it back to the bowl. Do that several times. Doing this throwing will give your fish paste the springy texture; 'QQ' and 'boing boing'. Hee

Shape the paste into fishballs and I used balance to make beancurd to be air-fried.

Boys love it and it is healthy too. I may choose to lower the salt content as I find it on the salty side.

Easy One Pot Pasta

Again, I repeat myself, being a full time working mom (FTWM), I am always on a constant lookout for yummilicious one pot meal where my boys and husband can get all the right nutrients in one dish; carbs, proteins, vitamins, irons etc etc

I came across in IG where a fellow IG-ers shared a one pot pasta. It looks delish! Replicated the same dish over the weekend, knowing Zachary loves pasta with his cheese. In my attempt to fatten him up, he needed more carbs and proteins for muscle built up. Since the last bout of hospitalisation, he is now at 15.6kg which is too too too light for a 6 year old.

It is really easy! Throw everything in a pot, pour in sufficient water, depending on how much broth you want for your pasta. Let it boil/cook for 15 minutes. Voila > good looking and delicious meal.

Don't you love the colors of it? I used smoked duck (bought from Mmmm), tomatoes on vines, basil leaves and mushrooms. You can add other ingredients of your choice, i.e chorizo, meats like chicken, pork. Basil gives the dish the extra oompphh.

Dish out and serve with grated parmesan!

On top of the pasta dish we had, I bought these bamboo clams from Sheng Siong for $18. It was way cheaper from what we usually eat at seafood places like Jumbo or Seafood Paradise. I split the batch to two; one steamed with mirin, garlic and ginger and another stir fry with chilli paste.

Hakka Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Red Beancurd & Easy Fried Chicken

This Hakka dish is a personal favorite of mine and I am sure it is amongst my family members as well. Mom made it so well that I am having a hard time replicating this dish from her. Could be the different brand of fermented beancurd used. Mom's slightly orangey in color whilst mine looks 'normal' in color. Haha.. nevertheless it is still yummy. Kieran, being a meatlover ate 3 pieces which is not bad for a 3 year old kid. Zach did not take any, he's a non-meat eater except for mince pork. Such hard brood to please.

When I was at the wet market, I was contemplating between using 'wu hua rou' or pork shoulder butt or 'san  zhen rou' or pork belly. Decided to go with pork belly cut as I remembered sinking into crunchy layers of fats when my mom made this dish.

Hakka Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Red Beancurd

500g pork belly or pork shoulder butt
2 cubes of fermented red beancurd
1/2 tbsp light soy sacue
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yellow glutinuous wine or shaoxing wine or hua tiao wine (I used hua tiao)
1/2 tsp of five spice powder
dash of white pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp plain flour

- Wash pork belly and pat dry. Cut into pieces about 1.5 inch wide
- Combine all the ingredients above with pork belly.
- Leave in fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- 30 minutes before frying, take out marinated meat from fridge to set it to room temperature.
- Combine cornflour and plain flour together.
- Heat oil in wok; I used just enough oil that covers half of the pork belly (not submerging them in oil)
- Put pieces of pork into beaten egg, coat well. Dredge pork in flour, dusting excess flour off.
- Fry until golden or when meat is cooked.
- Drain in oil-absorbent paper

Bon appetit!

The other day, I was craving for fried chicken and remembered I bought 4 pieces of quarter chicken from market. This is so simple to make with my Philips Air Fryer XL version. No oil splatters and no smokey kitchen! Just what is needed for a busy full time working mom like me.

Wash chicken and pat dry with kitchen towel. I skipped all seasoning because I am using Kentucky flour for this chicken. The seasoning in the flour is good enough.
Preheat air fryer to 160C. Coat chicken with Kentucky flour and dust off excess.
Air fry at 160C for 15 minutes before flipping and continue with 180C for 10 minutes (may be longer depending on the size of the chickens)