Thursday, October 6, 2016

Things My Kid Says #5

Naomi is 4 years old now and next January she has to go to kindergarten to study. I still have yet to settle on the right kindie for her although I've checked a few kindergartens nearby earlier this year.

I never thought that finding an ideal kindergarten for my child would be this difficult. Or maybe I am just being too picky in choosing a kindie for Naomi that meets my criteria such as a nice and clean facility plus comfortable environment, daily health check routines, good education philosophy (not too academic-oriented is preferred), decent numbers of students (not too crowded) and not too far from our home. Also, I guess I must like the teachers too.

So yeah, my serious kindie hunt for Naomi is still on-going now and I hope I could decide on one before October ends.

Speaking of the 4 y/o Naomi, here's a couple of her priceless goofy things that she said recently. I'd like to preserve the hilarity here to look back on and laugh... Just because kids say the darndest things, especially when they are around Naomi's age.

1. Y is for Yo-yo

Naomi is able to recognize A-Z, colors and numbers from 1- 20 something very well now. She can easily associates A for apple, B for book, etc. without any problem. We use flashcards, early learning ABC books, nursery songs, alphabet poster and puzzles to educate her with ABC letter names and sounds.

Y is yo-yo.
Naomi's flashcards are compliments of Auntie Bear.

Last night, my husband opened his newly delivered parcel from Toys R' Us's online store. The big child aka Naomi's Dad apparently bought himself a Duncan yo-yo.

👨: *Took out a transparent orange yo-yo from the plastic*
👧: Wowww! Y Y!
👨: *ROFL* Y Y?
👧: Papa! I want Y Y!
👨: Naomi, this is called yo-yo, not Y Y!

👧: *Holding her Dad's brand new yo-yo*
💁: Hey, Naomi, what is this?
👧: Y.
💁: It's yo-yo. Not Y.
👧: Yo-yo.

It's amusing to see how Naomi automatically associates yo-yo to letter Y.

2. Noisy Vacuum Cleaner

One evening, I was cleaning the floor with a vacuum cleaner when Naomi watched TV in the living room.

💁: *Turned on the vacuum cleaner* Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
👧: Aaargh!!! Mommy, STOP!
💁Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr... Huh?
👧: STOP!

Oopsie! Sorry for the noise, but my pristine living room is more important than your TV show, dear.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Making Pandan Mochi Rolls (Kue Ayas Gulung)

A couple months ago, Mochi Rolls were trending in my Instagram news feed for few consecutive weeks. It was so HOT I just had to join those Instamoms in the Indonesian baking communities in making the mochi rolls/ayas gulung myself.

I don't know why they call this traditional bite-size snack as mochi because its chewy texture, fragrance and taste are more like Kue Ayas, which was one of my childhood favorite snacks commonly sold in Indonesia, or Steamed Soft Cake Rolls or QQ Cake in Malaysia and Singapore. Texture wise, it is not as soft nor delicate as Japanese Mochi.

Anyway, whatever the name of these pretty little steamed rolls, they taste yummy and best of all, are very easy to make. The only caveat is probably you'd have quite a bit of dirty utensils to wash once you are done making these cute bites.

Here's the recipe that I use to make my Mochi Rolls, based on Anncoo's version.

Pandan Mochi Rolls(Ayas).

Pandan Mochi Rolls (Kue Ayas Gulung)


150gr Glutinous flour
40gr Wheat flour
10gr Corn flour
125gr Sugar
200gr Pandan water
1 tsp Banana essence, optional
1/2 tsp Green food coloring, mixed with 2 tbsp of water
30gr Glutinous flour for coating, toasted in the oven with Pandan leaves for 10 mins at 180C before using


  1. To make the Pandan water: Boil 300gr of water with 4 fresh Pandan leaves. Leave the water to cool and measure 200gr of water for this recipe.
  2. Sift all the flour ingredients into a big bowl and mix well with sugar.
  3. Pour the 200gr of Pandan water and banana essence onto the dry ingredients and stir with a whisker to form a thick batter.
  4. Run the thick batter in a strainer when pouring the batter to a square (9" or 20cm X 20cm) greased tray (use vegetable oil to grease the tray).
  5. Steam the Mochi for 15 minutes.
  6. Once removed from the steamer, immediately brush the Mochi surface with green coloring. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rolling it and removing it from the tray.
  7. Evenly coat or dust the Mochi with the toasted glutinous flour.
  8. Cut the rolled Mochi with a knife that is already thinly greased with vegetable oil.
  9. Serve immediately. Store the leftover in an air-tight container and consume within 2 days.

Step-by-step instructions.

Simple and easy recipe, right? Almost fail-proof.

My childhood delicacy.

My biggest challenge when making this Mochi the other day was the fact that I only got my right hand to work with. Literally. My left hand was busy carrying Brennan. OMG this fella. I thought he was sound asleep when I started weighing all the dry ingredients. When I was nearly done with the measuring work, he wailed and demanded to be carried. I got no choice, I could not just quit making this snack halfway through so I just carried on to make this Mochi while carrying my son. My kitchen felt extra warm that afternoon. #story_of_my_life

Just a small advice, if you prefer to coat the Mochi with toasted sesame seeds instead of the toasted glutinous flour, it's best to coat the Mochi with the sesame seeds when it's still piping hot; else the sesame seeds won't stick well or evenly.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Four Years Old

Earlier this week, Naomi turned four and she had a small birthday celebration with her friends and teachers in her school/day care. Initially, my husband was against the idea of me throwing her a birthday party again this year because he deems such party is not necessary and Naomi is a big girl now. However, I was very adamant about holding the celebration because this year is Naomi's last year in her playschool (Taska) and the party really didn't cost me much.

I don't know about you but I like my kids to have little birthday rituals or celebrations when they are young or in still kindergarten age, because these happy once-in-a-year occasions will be preserved in the childhood happy memory amber somewhere in their little brain.

This year, planning Naomi's birthday party in her school/day care was way less stressful than last year's. In fact, I didn't do much planning at all ahead of time. I booked her cake five days before the D-Day and shopped some birthday party favors for her friends the weekend before her birthday party. I didn't set any specific theme for her birthday either. For simplicity, I decided that her birthday cake for this year should either have Disney Princesses or Mickey Mouse element which she is familiar with. I just let our regular bakery decide which theme they should go with her cake based on their availability on the cake toppers or edible cartoon images in their shop to decorate the cake.

Naomi actually is borderline obsessed with Oggy and the Cockroaches, Dinosaurs and Superheroes but I couldn't grant her those themes this year because Dinosaur was already the theme of her birthday party last year. Oggy is a blue cat which doesn't exactly look like a cat and not a cute cartoon character so I could not have it on Naomi's cake. Moreover, I didn't want to feature the secret identities of Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker on her birthday party especially since she's a girl. As such, Disney Princesses or Mickey Mouse theme would still be the safe bet.

This year's 1 kg birthday cake.

Naomi birthday party last Tuesday was planned to start around 4.30pm. By then, the kids in the day care were already bathed and probably had taken their milk too so it's a good timing for everyone. My husband could not join us this year because he was busy at work. It was just Mommy and Brennan who attended Naomi's mini birthday party.

Just before I drove to Naomi's school/daycare, I vividly remember I prayed to God to give me a strong heart during Naomi's party because my all-time nemesis, balloons, would be there. PLENTY of them! God, Thou knew'st too well how this child of Thee frets these helium filled rubbery bags so please make her pretend that they did not exist throughout the celebration. Amen. Not to mention that day I was nursing a fever so I was not at my tip top condition to be 100% excited and energetic during the party.

As predicted, when I reached Naomi's school, her teacher was busy pumping balloons for the kids... Since it was my daughter's big day, I tried my best to ignore the balloons around me even though I could not totally disregard the balloon's irritating squeaky sound when the kids rubbed them.

Before the party started.

The sequence of Naomi's birthday celebration was similar to last year's:

Teacher ordered the kids to sit in front of a small table where we placed Naomi's cake. Since all the kids were so thrilled to celebrate their friends' birthday, teacher had to threaten them to stop running around and quietly sit down in front of the table; else the party would not start.

Teacher's threat worked like magic. All the kids sat down while we took photo of the birthday girl with her cake.

Birthday girl and her cake.

The birthday girl was very shy becoming the center of the attention that day so she looked rather stressed when we asked her to smile with her cake.

Family picture with the birthday girl.

Naomi didn't bat an eyelid and found it hard to even smile when her friends sang the birthday song out loud for her. One of Naomi's friends knew that her friends' heartfelt singing would make her eardrums ring so she covered her ears with her hands even before the song was sung. It was so funny I could not help but notice this.

Happy birthday to you!

Then came the candle blowing moment... Teachers arranged all the kids to stand surround the table with Naomi. Naomi's teachers purposely asked the kids who have lifelong history in blowing other kids' birthday candles to stand farther away from Naomi's cake so the birthday girl had the opportunity to blow the birthday candles. However, since Naomi was not comfortable and too shy to blow her four tiny candles, we had to ask some of her friends to volunteer to blow the candles on her cake.

Then, Naomi accidentally popped her balloon, which made me jump a bit but it was actually a great thing. I didn't have to bring her dreadful balloon home. #evil_mom

Little man was so well behaved during his sister's birthday celebration.

Once the candles were blown out, teacher asked Naomi to do the ceremonial cutting of her cake. While all the kids eagerly waited for the cake to be cut, at this point, Naomi simply could not handle the stress being the birthday girl anymore, she broke down. LOL. What kind of birthday is this? It boggles my mind that the birthday celebration was apparently very stressful for Naomi. In the end, we held the plastic knife together to cut the cake.

Cut the cake, Naomi!

Moving on, teacher made the kids to take a seat on their dining tables and began distributing a slice of cake to each child for their tea time.

The cake was quite yum!

After eating the cake, Naomi's job for that afternoon was not finished yet. She still had to distribute the birthday party favors to her friends. Last year, Naomi totally refused to do this. This year, she concluded her birthday celebration by happily passing each kid a stationery set that I bought as her birthday party favors for her friends.

Naomi distributed her birthday party favors to her friends.

Not long after that, Naomi requested to go home after her birthday celebration ended. I thought she'd like to hang out with her friends first after the celebration but no, I guess she was very tired being the birthday girl she just wanted to go home ASAP. I relented. We thanked and said goodbye to her teachers and just before we left, Naomi's teacher also prayed for her.

Baby was not sleepy, ok!

So that's how we officiated my girl's graduation from a threenager to (hopefully) Four and Fabulous. I really hope going forward, Naomi'd go easy with her temper, stubborn tenacity, confusion and mood swings. And of course, I look forward to see her talking longer sentences too!

Naomi only smiled widely during #wefie.

Happy Birthday, my darling daughter.

Here's wishing you happiness and health,
And many dreams come true
Not only on your special day
But always, all life through.