This weekend i was really craving for noodles and found this really easy and tasty Hakka Noodles recipe. i did omit the bean sprouts and french beans as they are really not my likings! 🙂

hakka noodlesHakka Noodles with vegetables and chicken and no frills – absolutely simple yet absolutely tasty!

Recipe courtesy Sanjeev Kapoor. With a few of my own modifications.

Ingredients

400gms noodles

200gms chicken breast, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, sliced

¼ cup cabbage, shredded

1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips

1 medium capsicum, cut into thin strips

7-8 french beans, cut into diamonds

½ cup bean  sprouts

salt to taste

¼ tsp white pepper

1 tbsp soya sauce

1 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp oil

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Method

1. Boil noodles in salted water till tender. Remove and drain.

2. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a non stick wok. Add the onion, capsicum, carrots and toss on high heat for 3-4 mins.

3. Add cabbage and toss.

hakka noodles1

4. Add noodles to the vegetables. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Mix in salt, soya sauce, white pepper and vinegar.

5. Add bean sprouts and toss again. Serve hot.

Hakka noodles with vegetables with no frills – absolutely simple yet tasty – See more at: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Perfect-Hakka-Noodles.aspx#sthash.6nLoF5Rv.dpuf
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Winter is here in Auckland. and so are the season’s first sniffs and coughs. B’s under the weather too, so i know how the sleepless nights can be!

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There are many home remedies one can try. i will tell you the ones i tried out on B.

Under 1 year – I remember when B got his first cold at 7 months. It was his first winter here and everything was new to us. he could not breath at nights and would just cry it out.

1.Nasal Saline Drops

Your ped will surely prescribe saline drops for babies (as they dont prescribe any other meds). You can also make your own nasal saline drops at home but i would prefer the ones you get in the market than the home-made ones as there is a risk of bacterial growth.

2. Ajwain (carrom seeds) potli (pouch)

Ajwain ( carrom seeds) are known for its anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Dry roast 1 tbsp of ajwain on a tawa and once cooled make it into a potli / tight pouch with a clean muslin cloth. Place this potli in your baby’s cot or where your baby sleeps. The ajwain smoke from the potli would help baby to open the blocked nose and relieve from congestion. I used to pin it on B’s clothes during the day. But make sure not to keep it within the reach of your baby to avoid the chances of putting into mouth / choking  / breathing hazard in anyway.

3. Elevate Baby’s Head

Keep your baby’s head elevated while sleeping so ease the breathing. You can elevate the cot at the head side. this was not possible with B as he keeps moving around in his cot during sleep.

4. Give warm water at regular intervals to keep the baby well hydrated.

5. Give baby plain water steam or a warm shower.

Massage the nose with index finger and then give baby a warm bath. it will help loosen the mucus.

6. Vaporubs

i apply Vicks Baby Balm on B’s chest and a little on his nose. Before sleeping i apply it on his night clothes too.

7. Vegetable/Chicken Soup

Soups increase the immunity of the body. But B sadly is not a ‘soup’ person.

Babies over 1 year

You can try 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 here too. I still do the vaporubs for B and its really effective on him. Apart from these i found some other home remedies too. will try one of these today.

8. Grate ginger and add honey to it. A tsp. of this can be given at regular intervals. Helps to soothe the throat and cough.

9. Lemon juice and honey. Add a little warm water to it and give it your baby to drink.

10. Milk with turmeric is effective for dry coughs.

11. Dry roast 5 cloves and grind it well once cooled. Add honey to it and give it before sleep.

Hope these cold and cough home remedies help your baby/toddler. if you know any other remedies for cold (i am sure there are many more than these), do share in the comments below!

This is the most simplest and tasty dish i cook for B. its a sure winner with the kids ALL the time! its packed with all the goodness of veggies in a thick creamy white sauce, topped with a handful of melted cheese. yummy!

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This recipe is my own invention. Feel free to add or remove any ingredients for your taste.

Ingredients

1 carrot chopped

½ cup broccoli

½ cup green beans

¼ cup corn

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup boiled noodles/spaghetti

salt and pepper to taste

paprika to taste

pinch of nutmeg

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs or as per taste

3 cup milk

60g butter

4 tbsp plain flour (i use wheat flour)

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Method

1.Chop all vegetables of your choice into bite sized pieces and keep aside.

2. Pre heat oven to 180°C.

3. Boil noodles/spaghetti in salty boiling water, till half done. Drain and keep aside.

4. In the meanwhile, take a small saucepan and melt the butter slowly. Add flour and keep mixing on slow heat for 2-3 mins. Take care to not burn it. Then add the milk slowly, mixing it continuously and vigorously so no lumps are formed. Keep mixing and cooking the sauce till it thickens. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika as per your taste.

veg pie

5. In an oven proof dish, mix the vegetables with the white sauce. Cover with foil and let it bake for 20-25 mins or till the veggies are tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and let it bake for 5-10 mins (or till the cheese melts) uncovered.

 

its been such a long time since i have baked. So lets just say this is my healthy comeback to baking!

there’s this general impression that baking cakes at home is difficult. well not really for me, but anyways, for those who think so, well start with these muffins. baking them is really just a piece of cake!

Banana & Walnut (Mini) Muffins

Banana & Walnut (Mini) Muffins

Banana & Walnut (Mini) Muffins. the best of the lot for kids. scrumptious, healthy and very yummmyy! they are so light and fluffy, they literally melt in your mouth!

Recipe courtesy Tarla Dalal.

Ingredients

1 cup butter

1 cup castor sugar

1 cup plain flour ( i used wheat flour)

2 bananas

½ cup walnuts

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp milk

Butter to grease the muffin moulds

ingredientsMethod

Making these muffins is so easy even your kids can help you along the way.

1. Pre heat oven to 200°C. Grease muffins moulds with little butter and keep aside.

2. Sieve the flour with the salt, baking powder and baking soda. Keep aside.

3. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and mix with a spatula till it becomes soft. Add castor sugar to it and mix it properly.

4. Chop bananas into small bite size pieces (or however you wish) and add it to the butter and sugar mix. Add in the chopped walnuts and mix well.

Untitled-125. Add in the vanilla essence and sifted flour and give it a gentle mix.

6. Add enough milk to make it a batter like consistency.

Untitled-157. Spoon the batter into the greased muffin moulds and bake for 20-25 mins.

Untitled-13Note-

1. Silicone trays need lesser cooking time than metal ones.

2. Insert a toothpick in the centre of muffin. If it comes out clean its done. On touching the muffin, it should be fluffy and come back up when pressed down.

i know i haven’t posted since a week. its just that the last few days have been (and are going to be) crazy busy for me!

i am taking B to 2 different playgroups three times a week. of which one playgroup (2 days) requires me to drive there, which means i also have to go pick up M from work in the office. no complaints since i get to drive more (i love driving!), but that leaves me with a busy afternoon schedule of feeding a hungry and tired toddler after playgroup, getting him in bed and rushing in the kitchen to prepare dinner before leaving again for M’s office. but i am actually enjoying it. its been a while since i’ve been so occupied. today was his first day at the Plunket Playgroup in Sandringham. its a pretty busy playgroup compared to the others with a huge indoor and outdoor area. it was great fun. Looking forward to tomorrow! Need to remind myself to click more pics tomorrow!

Plunket Playgroup

Plunket Playgroup

i am also taking him to Manly Music sessions. thursday is his first day. lets see how that goes.

oh did you notice a change in my website? yes, this was taking most of my post-dinner time. and is still taking. you know at the start, it just seemed a simple change in theme and designing a header image. But its hard work convincing a designer’s mind and a geeky nerd. So don’t be surprised if you see some new changes now and then. btw, how does it look as of now?

and i am also working on adding some new topics. Kids’ product reviews, on-going kids activities around town, must-watch videos etc. SO a lot of new stuff going to happen here so do keep an eye out for that!