High-Five Bedtime Routine Poster

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I saw this cute idea a few months(!) ago and finally got around to making it. It’s a fast afternoon activity that got MilkyBar thinking about routines, ordering and organising his thoughts/ideas.

Its quite self-explanatory and you can take a look here for further instructions.

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IMAG3181All done!! And so proud of his work 🙂

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Animal Habitat Game

IMAG3153As part of our Animal Studies, we are learning about Animal Habitats. I found this lovely idea online and decided to make it for MilkyBar. A very simple game but allows for lots of learning opportunities.

I glued two paper folders to make a bigger file and pasted 8 pictures of different habitats. MilkyBar then used the animal flashcards that we got for cheap at the local bookstore.

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The first game was a sorting game. MilkyBar sorted the flashcards into their different habitats. Those that he was not sure about, we put aside to read up on or check online.

A second game we could play is to place the cards picture-side down. The player picks a card and has to move like the animal or make the animal sounds before placing the card in the right habitat picture. Definitely more fun with more players so I am saving this for the weekend so that we can play together.

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Resources:

Education.com

File Folder Fun

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Lunches for the week #29

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Meatball and pea pilaf, cherry tomatoes, plum

This week, MilkyBar told me that he had a part in his upcoming graduation ceremony’s play. They are doing Jumanji and he was to be the leader of the snakes. So cool! He is so excited and looks forward to his rehearsals.

Mon: Meatball and pea pilaf, cherry tomatoes and plum

Tues: lunch-out

Wed: Cauliflower potato mash with fish fingers, steamed sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, and a fruit roll-up

Thurs: Tuna pesto pasta, edamame beans and plum

Fri: Fried noodles with bear fishballs (aren’t they cute!!), hardboiled quail egg with cherry tomato, and grape cup

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Cauliflower potato mash, fish fingers, sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, fruit roll-up

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Tuna pesto pasta, edamame beans, plum

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Fried noodles, bear fishballs, quail egg, cherry tomatoes, grapes

We loved the meatball pilaf! I got the recipe from an issue of GoodFood magazine and adapted it slightly.

Meatball and Pea Pilaf (Adapted from GoodFood magazine)

250g lean minced beef
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
200g basmati rice (soaked in plenty of salted water for 20 min, and drain well)
100g frozen peas
Enough beef stock or water to cover the rice

Mix the beef with half of the ginger-garlic paste, ground cumin and ground coriander. Season with salt and black pepper. Roll into walnut-sized balls. Fry the meatballs in enough hot oil til gold brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add in the remaining ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add in the remaining ground spices and the rice. Fry for a few minutes.Add in the peas and stir to mix. Transfer to a rice cooker and add in the beef stock/water. Cook the pilaf. When done, arrange the meatballs on top and cover with the rice cooker lid. Let cool slightly before serving.

Baking Monday: Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

IMAG3143 We love peanut butter and since I had some leftover PB and cherry jam (from Hari Raya baking), I decided to make quick PB & J muffins, using my new square-shaped baking pan..just for fun! The recipe doesn’t even require any butter/oil as we have that from the PB.

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PB & J Muffins (Adapted from Mad About Muffins)

2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup jam (strawberry, grape or cherry jam will do)

Preheat oven to 170C. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Stir in the sugar. In another bowl, beat together the peanut butter and egg. Gradually add in the milk. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the flour mixture, and stir til just moistened and combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very stiff.

Spoon about 1 tbsp of batter into the muffin tins. Smooth it in using a spoon. Add a heaping tsp of jam/jelly and top with more batter til the muffin tin is about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-25 min, til lightly browned. Makes about a dozen muffins using a standard-sized muffin tray.

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Lunches for the week #28

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Roasted tomato and garlic soup, cheese and spring onion scones, sago and fruit cocktail pudding

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Taco rice, baked tortilla chips, mandarin orange

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Roasted chicken pasta, potato wedges, sweet peas, cherry tomatoes

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Salmon sandwiches, papaya, chocolate cup

This week has been a super busy week. We also received a letter from MilkyBar’s kindergarten regarding his upcoming graduation ceremony in Nov. Can’t believe that 3 years has flown by and that he will be starting primary school next year. I still remember singing to him while walking to school so that he wouldn’t cry. Thankfully, his school has been great and he enjoys his lessons. Hopefully, he will adjust well when he goes to his new ‘big boy’ school.

Mon: Roasted tomato and garlic soup, cheese and spring onion scones, sago and fruit cocktail pudding

Tues: Taco rice with baked tortilla chips, mandarin orange cup

Wed: Roasted chicken pasta, roasted potato wedges, steamed sweet peas, cherry tomatoes

Thurs: lunch out

Fri: Salmon spread sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts in ciabatta bread, papaya cubes and chocolate cup

Two of this week’s menu were made with leftovers from the previous night’s dinners. The chicken pasta was from a roasted chicken and vegetable dish, the taco rice was made using leftover minestrone soup. Fast and easy lunches indeed!

Baking Monday: Cheese and Spring Onion Scones

IMAG3121I have recently discovered a love for Swiss cheese. Growing up the only type of cheese we ate was Kraft processed cheese (still one of my guilty pleasures). MilkyBar, however, has a taste for Parmesan, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss and Emmenthal. He loves Babybel and those little triangles of Laughing Cow cheeses.

I made these to use up the Swiss cheese that I had bought on a whim. These baked up well and filled the house with a wonderfully savoury aroma. They were lovely with the minestrone soup I had made for dinner. A great way to use up any leftover bits of cheeses you have. I had used spring onion instead of the suggested chives.

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Cheese and Spring Onion Scones (Adapted from a recipe from a booklet from Marigold that I got for free from the supermarket)

200ml milk
2 tbsp white vinegar
500g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
180g cold butter (cubed)
160g grated cheese (use any that you like eg. sharp Cheddar, Gruyere, etc.)
2 tbsp chopped spring onions
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine the milk with the vinegar and set aside.

Sift the flour and stir in the salt. With your fingertips, rub in the butter til crumbly. Add in the cheese (reserving some for sprinkling on top of the scones later), spring onions and pepper. Stir gently to mix.

Stir the eggs into the milk mixture and slowly pour into the centre of the dry ingredients. With a wooden spoon, gently stir and stop as soon as the dough starts to form. It will be loose and slightly crumbly. Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the dough out. Knead gently til the dough just comes together. Pat into a 2.5cm thickness. Cur out with a round cookie/scone cutter and place on baking tray. Brush the tops with some milk and sprinkle over the reserved cheese. Bake for 20 min, til golden brown and risen. Best served warm.

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Mammal Studies: Elephant Lapbook

IMAG3096 A few months back, I discovered lapbooks and notebooking. I thought it is a great teaching tool. Lapbooking helps to break down information and make a particular subject/topic more concise and easy to understand. So the first one that MilkyBar and I made was on Elephants as part of our Mammal (Animal) studies. I had already done worksheets and activities so I decided to compile them and add them into the lapbook to complete it. MilkyBar had lots of fun researching the answers to fill in the pages and it also helped him with recalling the information that he had learnt.

The reference books we used were:

  • Elephants: Life in the Wild (Monica Kulling)
  • Why do Elephants trumpet? (Miles Kelly)
  • 100 Facts: Animal Life (Miles Kelly)

The topics we covered:

  • Origins of the elephant
  • Elephant habitats
  • Physical aspects of an elephant
  • Diet
  • Family and their young
  • Communication
  • Elephant and Human interaction – occupations, relationships, conservation efforts
  • Comparison between African and Asian elephants
  • Related vocabulary and crafts

The resources were from the Internet in particular from Homeschoolshare.com and About.com

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Inside front cover: Elephant facts

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Inside back cover: Elephant words

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Habitats and where Elephants live

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Physical parts of an Elephant

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Physical parts of an Elephant

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Diet

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Elephant Families and their young

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Communication

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Occupation

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African vs Asian Elephants

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African vs Asian Elephants

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Crafts

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Back cover: Colouring of a decorated Asian elephant

Baking Monday: Strawberry Banana Tea Bread

Its the start of the one-week term break so made this for our breakfast this morning. I adapted this from my regular Banana Bread recipe. Quick and delicious!

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Strawberry Banana Tea Bread

1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Mash up bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and sugar. Mix well. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix again. Sift together baking soda, flour and salt. Add to other ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in sliced strawberries. Reserve some to decorate the top of the batter if you like.

Grease a loaf pan with nonstick spray or butter. Pour batter into loaf pan. Decorate with remaining strawberries. Bake until golden brown, about 60 minutes. You may need to cover the top with foil if it gets too brown.

Lunches for the week #27

The last week of August is here! With Hari Raya, school field trip, class photo sessions and more, its another case of time flying by. This week’s lunches featured a Bugis dish called Bubur Baraboq (Baraboq Porridge). Bugis is a major ethnic group from South Sulawesi, Indonesia. With the majority of the people being Muslims, their food features alot of fish and seafood. This porridge dish is favourite of MilkyBar. He has never been a fan of porridge (apart from oat porridge) until I made this one day from a recipe I found in a local magazine. Now he loves this! Chockful of chicken, prawns, vegetables such as pumpkin and spinach, and flavoured with garlic and coconut milk, it is a soothing and satisfying quick meal.

Mon: Fried egg noodles with vegetables, grilled honey chicken drumlettes, mixed nuts and grape cup

Tues: Golden couscous with raisns, baked spiced sweet potato, and strawberry cup

Wed: Salad Nicoise, cherry tomatoes, apple wedges with caramel sauce

Thurs: Bubur Baraboq, and grape cup

Fri: lunch-out

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Stirfried egg noodles, grilled chicken drumlettes, mixed nuts, grape cup

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Golden couscous, baked sweet potato, strawberry cup

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Salad Nicoise, cherry tomatoes, apple wedges with caramel

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Bubur Baraboq, grape cup

BUBUR BARABOQ (Adapted from Selerasa Manja magazine)

1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup chicken stock
50g chicken (diced)
50g prawns (shelled and deveined)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 carrot (finely diced)
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn (thawed)
50g pumpkin /potato (diced)
handful of spinach leaves (chopped)
4 tbsp thick coconut milk
Fried shallots and spring onions for garnish

Wash the rice and place into a heavy-bottomed pot. Pour in chicken stock and about 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Cook til thickened and grains break down into porridge-consistency.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic in a little oil til fragrant. Add in the chicken and prawns, cook til almost done. Add in the carrot and pumpkin/potato, saute for a few minutes. Add in the sweet corn and stir through. Remove from heat and set aside.

When porridge is ready, add in the cooked ingredients. Add more water, if needed. Add in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Simmer til all the vegetables are cooked. Finally, stir in the coconut milk. Serve garnished with fried shallots and spring onions.

Baking Monday: Apple & Cinnamon-Crumble Top Cake

mpw-9717Its been AGES since I did a Baking Monday post. I do apologise! But today I have a goodie for you. Since it was raining all day today, I tucked MilkyBar with all his fav toys on the sofa and let him watch Pinocchio (one of my fav Disney cartoons) while I made this…Apple & Cinnamon-Crumble top cake. It smelt all wonderfully fragrant and sweet. Soft, lightly spiced apple slices were sandwiched between a spongy cake base and oaty, crumbly layer. Yum!

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APPLE & CINNAMON-CRUMBLE TOP CAKE (Adapted from Cakes: Tried, Tested and Trusted)

For the apple layer:

350g eating apples (I used Granny Smiths,about 2 apples. Peeled, cored and finely chopped)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

For the topping:

125g self-raising flour

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

75g butter (cold, cut into pieces)

75g demerara/brown sugar

50g muesli/rolled oats mixed with flaked almonds (optional)

1 tbsp milk

For the base:

125g butter

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

150g self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly butter and line the base of a 20cm round cake tin.

For the apple layer, mix all the ingredients and set aside.

For the topping, sift the flour and stir in the spices. Rub in the butter til the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and muesli/oats. Set aside.

For the cake base, cream the butter and sugar together til light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time til well combined. Sift in the flour and gently fold in with a spatula. Spoon into the base of the prepared cake tin. Arrange the apple pieces on top. Lightly stir the milk into the crumble mixture. Scatter the crumble mixture over the apples and bake for about 1 – 1 1/2 hr. Serve warm or cold.

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