Everyone loves vegetable fritters!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Since I became the proud owner of a magic machine, I've rekindled my love for cooking again since it makes everything so easy to prepare.

The Moo boys are essentially carnivores, and unless 'vegetables don't taste like vegetables' (I quote DaddyMoo) they won't touch any forms of greens with a ten foot pole. Don't get me started on fibre and the lack thereof in their diet, that's another story for another day.

This version of Vegetable Fritters, however, they devour like they were meat patties. Probably because you can't really tell that they are made entirely of vegetables. So if you have carnivores at home, too... perhaps this may just fool them.

Vegetable Fritters

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves meat eaters



1 large egg
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch


Chinese celery
Spring Onions (Scallions) / Leek
Oil for frying

The amount of each vegetable used is to your preference. You can also add seafood or meat in the mix.


1. Put all the vegetables in a food processor, and blitz on quick mode. I prefer the vegetables to be roughly chopped so as to still retain the crunch.

2. Once that's done, add in the egg and salt and pepper to taste. If you are using a dip, please take care not to overseason. More eggs if you are making for the entire housing estate.

3. Mix well. Add in the plain flour and cornstarch. Don't add all in one go, because it will cause the flour to turn lumpy.

Tip: It's always better to do this mixing by hand, as opposed to throwing it into the machine. Don't ask me why... my reply may put you off eating the end product :)

4. Heat a heavy bottomed pan or skillet with a neutral oil like Canola or Sunflower. The surface of the oil should ripple when it's hot enough.

Turn down the heat. Add one tablespoon of fritter mixture to the pan. If you prefer the fritters to be 'flat', use the back of a fork to flatten each one. I prefer fat fritters!

Make sure that throughout the entire cooking process, the heat is controlled. Otherwise, the inside will not cook although it may look golden brown.

Don't let the fritter 'rest' too long in the oil on each side. Keep turning them over so that they will cook uniformly. Cook the fritters in batches, and don't attempt to put too many at one time. Some will get burnt while you are busy turning over the others in the batch.

Serve immediately.

There you have it. Non-vegetable tasting vegetable fritters. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, tunch, supper or as an appetizer.

If you try it and love it, drop me a note. If you don't, let me know, and I'll do a meaty version next time!


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School's Out! It's time to play!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

School holidays are fun for the kids, but can cause quite a bit of worry for parents. With so much energy to exhaust, little ones need fun filled activities to keep them entertained.

Here is our selection of places to go and things to do to keep them occupied. I personally love the drop off options the most!


EVOLVE Mixed Martial arts (MMA) Children's Programme

"The Little Samurai Children’s Program at Evolve MMA is designed to help a child in all areas of his/her life by instilling confidence, discipline, mental strength, self-defense skills, and more. It is designed for boys and girls from ages 6 to 13."

There is a complimentary trial class which will enable you to assess if this program will be useful for your kids. Please click here for more information.

Sportball Multi-sport Program
For children 3-7 years old

Program introduces preschool and primary school children to the fundamental concepts and skills of 8 ball sports; Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Rugby, Tennis, Hockey, Golf and Soccer.

Sportball Sport-Specific Programs
For children 5-12 years old

Programs apply more focus and further develop key skills for a chosen sport from the three ball sports available: Soccer, Hockey and Basketball.

2013 June Summer Holiday Camp (5th – 21st) now available for registration. Click here for more camp information.

Now the kids (and parents, too!) can learn to skate with the help of experienced instructors. 'Skate with Us' has a specialised programme for children age 3 to 12 years old, and lessons are conducted at any of these locations: West Coast Park, Bukit Batok, Jurong West, East Coast Park, Tampines, Tiong Bahru, Sengkang, Bishan or Woodlands.

Exercising can be fun for the entire family!

Please click here for a full listing and schedule of programmes.

eliteWushu is a school specially dedicated to budding local wushu talents.

iCAMP Wushu 2013 
To register: http://form.jotform.me/form/30874225398462

Wushu Buffet
To register: http://form.jotform.me/form/31482146817456

Public Classes

elite Kids (Bukit Gombak/Bukit Batok)
*Classes in June (Wednesdays, 8.00pm - 9.30pm)

Click here for more information and registration.


The Pragmatic Lab

If your kids love to create things, this 3-day workshop may be just the thing that will fuel their interest further.

This June holidays, The Pragmatic Lab will be opening its doors to the little ones, with its first children’s summer workshop, “Minecraft Madness: Unleash the creator in you”.

They will be introduced to Minecraft as an educational learning tool, where they’ll get to hone their creativity and build up on their analytical and mathematical skills, while having fun at the same time.


For children aged 6-12.
Day: 17, 19, 21 June 2013
Time: 10am to 12pm
Location: The Pragmatic Lab, #05-01, Ming Arcade, 21 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249720

Please contact The Pragmatic Lab for more details here.


From 18 May, all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) will enjoy free admission to National Heritage Board museums and heritage institutions.

"Children’s Season returns with exhibitions and programmes that will inspire and excite both the young and the young at heart. Jointly presented by the National Heritage Board and Museum Roundtable, this year’s extravaganza will see new, exciting highlights happening in 19 museums island-wide. With interactive exhibits and engaging programmes, there will be surprises aplenty for the children."

Please click here for all available programmes.

Dora & Diego 

Meet everybody’s favourite Nickelodeon explorers, Dora & Diego! Join in exciting games and win exclusive prizes. Plus, stand a chance to have a family photo with Dora & Diego (limited spots only).

Date: 1,2,8,9,15,16,22 & 23 June (Sat & Sun)
Time: 12.30 pm (30mins)
Venue: Pools Amphitheatre

Explore the world of living colours 
Pick up a free copy of the junior explorer passport* and go on a mini expedition around the park! Discover the birds from five different continents and collect stamps as you go along this exploration.

Date: 1,2,8,9,15,16,22 & 23 June (Sat & Sun)
Time: 8.30am to 6.00pm
Venue: Around the park 

*while stocks last

Feathery Explorations 

Discover interesting facts about birds in this interactive session.

Date: 1,2,8,9,15,16,22 & 23 June (Sat & Sun)
Time: 1.45pm (20mins)
Venue: Penguin Coast

Dr Squawk's Expedition 

Dr Squawk, bird park's very own explorer, will share stories about the flightless birds she encountered on her expeditions (limited spots).

Pre-registration required. Click here to register.

Date: 1,2,8,9,15,16,22 & 23 June (Sat & Sun)
Time: 2.30pm & 4.30pm (20 mins)
Venue: Breeding & Research Centre

Junior Eggs-pert Room 
Junior Avian Keeper ‘Limited spots left’

Ever wondered what it is like to be an avian keeper for a day? Get some hands-on experience with tasks such as preparing feed and enrichment for the penguins, lories and baby birds.

Pre-registration required. Click here to register.

Date: 7 June (Fri)
Time: 8.45am – 5.45pm

Fees: $250.00 per child (excludes 7% GST)
10% off for individual and family members
of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Read more

Admission Fee 
Adult: $20.00
Child* (3 - 12 years old): $13.00
Senior Citizen**: $10.00

* Admission for child below 3 years old is free.
** Senior Citizen admission only applicable for Singaporean or Singapore PR aged 60 and above. Senior citizens are required to present proof of identification.

Finding Dr H at Images of Singapore

Date: 18th May to 30th June 2013
Venue: Images of Singapore, Sentosa
Time: 9am – 7 pm daily (last entry 6.30pm)

* Free entry to the Images of Singapore for children under 12 from 18th May to 30th June, 2013. Usual admission prices are $10 for adults and $7 for Children (3 to 12 years old) (excludes island admission and parking charges)

"Children under the age of 12 will get to enjoy free admission from 18th May to 30th June 2013 at the Images of Singapore. Kids will embark on an exhilarating adventure and be transported through a ‘time travel machine’ back to the founding days of Singapore through the SentosaLens mobile application via a smart phone."

Fun at Imbiah Lookout

Date: 1st to 30th June 2013 (daily except on Mondays)
Venue: Imbiah Lookout

"Besides engaging kids with the popular Playmobil through three new interesting stories and other Playmobil activities, expect to be awed by the different types of performances ranging from dance musical to puppetry to cultural face changing performances at Sentosa’s popular annual interactive story-telling event “Storytelling Comes Alive!”.

Build Your World with LEGO

Tell your story with LEGO® bricks and win!

The world’s No. 1 construction toy invites you to join the competition and build your world with LEGO bricks. The winner gets a VIP trip to LEGOLAND Malaysia.

A LEGO competition for everyone

“Build your world” is a competition that is open for everyone, children and adults alike. The rules are simple:

• Participants are divided into two categories, 6-12 years old and over 12 years old.
• Participants in each category are given 45 minutes to build a model with LEGO bricks and submit it for review. Bricks will be provided, and all participants have complete creative freedom.
• A jury will select the best models from each country and send the winners on to the international grand final of the competition.

Venue: Raffles City Atrium @ Level 3
Date: 25 May - 24 June 2013


Meet the new cast as Hi-5 hit the road with their debut cinema release!

One of world’s most loved and successful preschool children’s entertainment groups Hi-5 is about to hit the big screen.Hi-5’s Stevie and Lauren want you to share in the fun as they search for three new cast members in their debut big screen cinema premiere Hi-5 Some Kind of Wonderful.

The Bubble Legendary

Brought to you by Resorts World Sentosa, the highlight of the show is "LEGEND OF THE SILVER SEA" - a masterpiece of its kind combining bubbles and ultimate laser technology with the world’s first Silver, Gold and 3D lasers. 

6 June - 7.30pm
7 June - 7.30pm
8 June - 11.30am, 3.30pm, 7.30pm
9 June - 11.30am, 3:30pm

Ticket Prices: $28 - $88
Please check full listing and package prices here.

Barney & Friends

If your kids are into Barney (BabyMoo isn't!) bring them down to City Square Mall to catch a live performance by Barney & his friends.

Meet & Greet session is redeemable with a minimum spend of $50 within the mall.

Barbie’s Fashionable Dream World

The girls will absolutely love living out their dream world dressed as the iconic Barbie at the Barbie Makeover and Photoshoot, and take home a complimentary 4R photo for keepsake. They can also have some creative fun at the Barbie DIY corner through a series of arts and crafts activities. 

Barbie Makeover and Photoshoot 

Shoppers can redeem a free makeover session for their girls to dress up in Barbie costumes, and bring home a complimentary 4R photo for keepsake with either a minimum spend of $50* on Barbie products, or a minimum spend of $100* (including a minimum of $20 purchase on Barbie products) at any outlet in VivoCity.

Date: 31 May – 16 June 2013
Time: 11am – 9pm, Fri – Sun
Venue: Central Court A, Level 1

Barbie DIY Corner 

Hands-on fun with our Barbie-themed DIY activities at the Barbie DIY corner, available with just a minimum spending of $30 on Barbie products in a single receipt.

31 May – 8 June 2013
Bag-painting, T-shirt painting

9 – 16 June 2013
Sand Art, Shrink Art
31 May – 16 June 2013
Mix & Match Barbie Dolls (no minimum purchase required)

Time: 11am – 9pm, Fri – Sun 

Venue: Central Court A, Level 1 Barbie

Barbie Meet & Greet

Photo opportunities with the world’s most famous fashion doll!

8 June 2013, Sat
Time: 2pm & 6pm

15 June 2013, Sat
Time: 2pm & 6pm

Venue : Central Court A, Level 1 (30mins per session)

Hot Wheels

As for the boys, they will get to have fun on a five-metre long ‘Hot Wheels’ race track at Central Court B, VivoCity Level 1. Three chances to race on the track will be given for every purchase of two ‘Hot Wheels’ basic cars, where timings will be recorded and the top three fastest racers receive a ‘Hot Wheels’ hamper!

This list will be updated periodically, so do check back for more details!

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I have a love-hate relationship with baking. I love to bake, but it hates me. I've tried so many times before, but it seems that baking will always be elusive to me. Never mind that my Grandma used to have a bakery, and could churn out cakes and baked goodies with both eyes closed, without the aid of sophisticated machines or measuring implements.

Recently, after I attended a special bake class organised by Munch Ministry, I realised that baking is simply all about trial and error, which would then divulge the little secrets that only seasoned bakers will know.

A very good friend (who is the go-to person for food and bakes) also told me that the most important thing is to understand your various Batterie de Cuisine, be it the food processor, blender, mixer, oven, and even the pots and pans. Each machine reacts differently in various conditions, and the temperature of your work area also affects the end product. Diana is The Domestic Goddess (Wannabe), and knows these from experience. Everything that comes out from her kitchen and is featured on the blog is tried and tested.

When she featured her 'Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies' recipe, the first thing which struck me was how BabyMoo would love these! She then made a trip all the way down to town to pass me some (how lucky can a little boy be?) - and true enough, the kiddo loved them.

Have to hold that delightful cookie with two hands, otherwise fallen crumbs will be wasted.
He made me decide to give it a go. The recipe seems foolproof, and nothing is particularly foreign sounding to me!

So I borrowed my mum-in-law's spare mixer (you should have seen her jaw drop when I asked!), grabbed the ingredients at a 24 hour supermarket, forced the boy to sleep, and started.

The virgin baker's (read: dummy) guide to:
Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies
original recipe here

250gr unsalted butter - use a well-known baking butter brand, it makes all the difference!
3/4 cup | 9 tbs brown sugar (I used a normal tablespoon, heaped portions - since I don't have a measuring cup!)
3/4 cup | 9 tbs caster sugar
2 1/4 cup | 36 tbs plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
200g dried cranberry 
200g white chocolate chips

**Note: 1 cup - 16 tbs if you use this. I've reduced the count because I didn't want the cookies to be too sweet.

1. Mix the butter and sugar till its creamy. The butter should be at room temperature so that you won't have blobs of butter flying everywhere. Add the vanilla extract and egg once it achieves this consistency.

2. Sift the flour along with the bicarbonate of soda, and fold in the mixture. Don't attempt to put all at one go, or else the mix may get lumpy.

3. You should get a doughy mix of this consistency.

4. Add in the cranberry and white chocolate chips. I used a lot, because I don't want to have to peer into each cookie to find a piece of cranberry!

5. If you have one of those 'proper' nice looking mixers, use the pulse function so that the ingredients get mixed in uniformly. If, like me, you only have the bare basics, use a wooden spatula to mix all in. It still works although it may take more time, but beggars can't be choosers, know what I mean? 

6. At this point, I checked the recipe 2x because I was afraid I had missed something out. This seems too easy to be true!

Everything looks to be in order, and so I placed a blob of the mix on a tray (lined with baking paper), took a deep breath, and pushed it in the oven, which had been preheated to 180deg C.

I waited with bated breath (and crossed fingers) for 15 minutes. The original recipe stated 12 minutes, but I was totally unfamiliar with my water oven, and figured out that I could take the cookies out the moment they turned brown. If they are overbaked, they would taste burnt and nasty (common sense tells me).

7. I got worried... because they looked FAT, unlike what's shown in the original post! so I crossed my toes, and hoped that it will at least be cooked inside. Doughy cookies are yucky.

So... 12 minutes later, this was what came out of the oven!

BabyMoo loved it.

They are surprisingly good if I may say so myself... although I wondered why they were more moist and chewy than what I tasted previously. Diana mentioned that different ovens will yield different results, especially if it isn't a conventional one.

So I went to Google (my other good friend) and found out, that water ovens make use of water (duh!) which is boiled internally to produce hot steam, which then cooks, grills, steams or bakes the food / cake. They don't use the usual fan mechanism which is used in conventional ovens. The end product will always be more moist (for cakes) and juicy (for food items) than usual.

Since I then returned the mixer to my mum-in-law, I suppose a shopping trip this weekend to get a mixer for myself is absolutely necessary. 

This is going to be the start of a wonderful baking journey.

This "Hulk" Turns Green When Clean!

I've always stressed the importance of good hygiene to BabyMoo from a young age, never mind that he may not have been able to understand me much back then. I've explored ways to make hand washing a fun activity for him, and he now knows that he should always wash his hands as frequently as possible, whenever he can. It helps that his pre-school incorporates hand washing as part of their daily routine, and the kids line up dutifully to wash their hands the moment they walk into school, pre-meal time, post meals, after every hands on activity, and after every diaper change.

When I found out that Lifebuoy has introduced a hand wash which changes colour to make hand washing a fun activity for kids (and adults!) I saw it as a perfect complement to our family's hygiene habits. Even the hubs was pretty excited about it, especially since the 'super hero' featured to showcase the product happens to be The Incredible Hulk, one of his favourite Marvel icons!

Text Source: Lifebuoy
The hand wash changes colour from clear to green during handwashing in 10 seconds, which is the time it takes to effectively kill germs present using a Lifebuoy hand wash. Most people (not only kids!) actually find hand washing more than the time it takes for a cursory rub - a hassle. Many aren't even sure how long it takes for soap to clean thoroughly, so I'm sure that this hand wash will hopefully encourage people to continue washing their hands just to see their hands turn green. It makes hand washing a fun activity!

The shirt even matches the Hulk Handwash!
The boy thinks the hand wash cleaned off the many moles on his legs.
When dispensed, the soap is clear, with a smattering of dark green beads. BabyMoo took a long time to observe the blob of soap on his palm, before he was convinced that the beads were not alive, nor were they going to wriggle or move any time soon.

Yes, he needs his nails cut. Please concentrate on the hand washing activity instead.
Daddy helped him to rub his hands vigorously, and as the beads burst to turn the lather varying shades of green, he got more and more excited. He then continued to tub his hands on his own, just to see his hands turn green!
Ta-da!! Mummy was expecting Hulk Hands. So sorry to disappoint!
After 10 seconds (yes I timed it) - there were patches of green on his hands. It was enough for him to get all excited, but I was a tad disappointed. I expected the entire pair of hands to turn completely green, I suppose. Like how gamma rays turned the Hulk green or something. When I complained to the hubs, he dead panned: "You do know that in actual fact, gamma rays have no colour at all, right?"

So much for me thinking he would at least expect the same, given that he's a huge Hulk fan.

This was the 4th time the boy washed and rinsed his hands. He was absolutely taken by the hand wash!
BabyMoo was extremely pleased with it. I even took the opportunity to encourage him to count to ten while he washed his hands. Amazingly, he didn't go 7, 8, 9 10! as he usually does, but actually started from 1 and did not miss a number!

So the boy has been taking me for a ride all this time. He can count, and I'm all for a soap which not only makes him happy to wash his hands, but is also an effective counting aid!

The Moo boys turned to DaddyHulk and BabyHulk. The soap affected more than their hands.
The boy was fascinated by the colour changing properties and loved the rich lather. The pleasant fresh scent made his hands 'smell' clean!

As part of Lifebuoy's ongoing effort to educate and change the hygiene mindset of millions of people everywhere, the colour changing hand wash will hopefully encourage more children to wash their hands, thereby preventing many diseases which can be fatal, especially in young children.

DISCLAIMER: This is an advertorial post for Unilever on behalf of Lifebuoy. While I was compensated for this post, all content is 100% my own. 

Follow Your 'HeART'

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

I've always loved Art. Back in school, if I had followed my calling, I would have opted to have gone into the Arts stream instead of going with the voice of reason, and spent a few uneventful years dabbling in Pure Science subjects. When I finally entered Graphic Design after 'A' levels, it was as though I've finally managed to fill that yawning void in my heart which was left empty for so long.

Fine Art, however, was always something which I dare not approach too deeply. Whilst I have ideas in my head and the execution is usually done with the aid of sophisticated software, I've never really been engaged enough (especially during the first year of exploring various art mediums) because my impatience will usually see me getting bored before the art piece is even halfway done.

Last week, as part of Singapore Mom Bloggers' 1st Anniversary celebrations, I was presented with an opportunity to go back to basics.
When I entered the studio, I walked around and marvelled at some of the art pieces on display. It was quite amazing that they were done by children whose ages range from 3 - 12!

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life." - Oscar Wilde
"Art is never finished, only abandoned." Leonardo Da Vinci

I love how daylight streamed in through the windows and into the 3 main studios where lessons are held. It gives the whole place an airy feel. Since each studio only held a maximum of 7 students at one time, 14 of us were duly split into two groups.

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures."
Henry Ward Beecher
We were going to use acrylic paint as a medium, and draw inspiration from what must be Vincent Van Gogh's most recognizable art piece - Sunflowers.

"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do." - Degas
Our vivacious instructor for the day is Teacher Gaz (Gazaly Haron), an honors degree holder from Huddersfield University in UK, specialising in both painting and pottery. He gave step by step instructions on where to start and how to start, which is so essential since we have no clue where to begin!

"The beginning is the most important part of the work." - Plato
We were given Van Gogh's rendition of Sunflowers (a repetition of the 3rd version, Aug 1888) painted in January 1889, while the other class had his original 3rd version as inspiration.

"In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing." - Vincent Van Gogh
We interrupt this programme to show you two mummymonkeys caught in action. This is how they looked when their kids entered preschool, (will look) when they start P1 next time, and when the boy and girl bring their respective girlfriend / boyfriend home. Same gestures, same look, I tell you!
Teacher Gaz was always encouraging, and kept on asking us to go with our instincts instead of just 'copying' from the sample provided. Although the Sunflowers were originally painted in yellow hues (to be placed in Gauguin's Yellow Room), Van Gogh painted various versions of it. We were free to pick whatever colour struck our fancy.

Van Gogh's paintings are notable for the bold colours and short, obvious strokes, and it is thought that he preferred to paint impasto (straight from the tube) to achieve the textures and heavy lines as evident in his paintings.

"If we could but paint with the hand what we see with the eye."
Honore de Balzac
We picked up our pastels and began to draw. With trepidation, perhaps a little bit of uncertainty... but in true 'Mum-style', we plunged headlong into the task at hand... and painted. Our normally noisy group was shocked into silence, and with the soft, mood music in the background - we followed our heART.

One hour into the session, I've managed the background and the vase. I didn't realise I was almost holding my breath the entire time!
A closer look at the short strokes, (almost) Van Gogh style!
At this point, I took a walk to see how the other class is doing. They 'seem' to be concentrating, too! Look at all the serious faces!

... except for the one in the photo at the top right hand corner.
She was also the only one who couldn't finish in time! tsk tsk tsk...
Another hour later... I managed to finish my painting. The acrylic paint used dries quickly, but Teacher Gaz helped us use a hairdryer to hasten the process. He then put a coat of gloss to protect and seal in the paint.

"Ayoh... these Mums are worse than kids!! They are so cautious!" - Teacher Gaz
Lovely ladies with their art pieces!
(Left: Adeline of The Accidental Mom Blogger, Right: Estella of So Oddly Dreamlike)
Here is my final product. I posted it on Instagram and FB, and the hubs actually messaged me to tell me that we should have it hung on the wall. (That's why I married the dude, see?) 

I am not entirely satisfied with it, though. Looks more like Chrysanthemums than Sunflowers to me. Van Gogh would be none too pleased at all.

"Art doesn't transform. It just forms." - Roy Lichtenstein
Thanks to Teacher Gaz... who has played such a pivotal role in encouraging our creativity, and help us unleash the inner artist in all of us.

"Every artist, was first an amateur."
(top left-right) Evelyn, Lyndis, Justina, Irene, DominiqueAdeline and I.  
(bottom left-right) Donna, Pamela, Alicia and Rachel. Missing in photo : Estella and Summer


HeART Studio offers classes for adults and children from 3 - 12. No age limit for adults! :) Do check out their June holiday programmes to keep little hands (and hearts) happy. Please contact the studio direct for further enquiries.

HeART Studio LLP 
101 Soo Chow Walk
Singapore 575385
Tel: (65) 6554 7563

Directions by Bus:

Parking Info:
Nearest Parking Facilities is at Thomson Plaza. However, arrangements can be made with the school so that staff can assist in drop off.

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