Pork Empanada

Happy Monday everyone!

Just thought I’d post up another one of my attempts in the kitchen. It’s another snack type food called pork empanada. Sorry for the low quality images – they were taken from my phone.

My grandma used to make these small parcels of savoury goodness when I was smaller and I thought I’d try it out and have her taste-test it for me to see what she thinks. I just cooked a practice run and will get grandma to taste the next batch I cook. It’s such a small but hearty snack – good as an after school treat or easy to pack for lunch!

What did you use to eat as an after school snack?

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Next baby fashion haul

Happy Black Friday to my American followers!

I wish we had the same huge bargains here Down Under. Since we don’t, I thought I’d share my first online shopping purchase for baby clothing!

I think that the baby clothing at Next is super cute and I have spent countless hours window-online-shopping since a friend  told me about their clothing a few weeks ago. It did not take me long to pick out a few items that I wanted to purchase – I wanted to start off small just to test out their services. I was so happy with Next’s prompt, free delivery – I received my package in no time! I have found onesies to be the most easiest piece of baby clothing to put onto a newborn so I bought 4 onesies in different styles! I cant wait for baby into these!

What are your favourite baby online stores?

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Siopao Asado

Home comforts!

Hi everyone! How is your Saturday going? Only 31 days left until Christmas!

Thought I’d post a foodie entry since I haven’t done so in what seems like a while. It has been 3 weeks since I have eaten somewhere outside of home and that is a long time for those of you that know me! Hubby and I love dining out but lately we’ve been eating at home every day with our parents kindly bringing over dinner – yum!

Feeling better and more mobile each week, I decided to get back into our kitchen to try and cook a delicious Filipino snack Siopao Asado! I can’t even remember the first time I had siopao. It is such a tasty snack!

The filling turned out very tasty just a little salty and the dough could have been a lot more moist. Overall I was pretty happy with my rushed bun attempt! (I had to prep and cook everything in between baby’s feeds!). Oh well! I will try it again soon! Might even try the Chinese BBQ pork bun version,Char Siu Bao.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Recipe for the Asado Filling

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 800g pork, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch, diluted in 1/4 cup water

Method

  1. Cook the Asado filling by heating the oil in a pan
  2. Saute the garlic and onions
  3. Add the pork and cook until the pork turns a light brown colour
  4. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar then mix well. Simmer for 40 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  5. Mix in the diluted cornstarch until the texture of the sauce becomes thick then set aside to cool. Filling mixture must be cool before you assemble the buns.

Dough recipe 

Follow ingredients and method on packet mixture! 🙂

To make the dough for the buns I used a packet mixture readily available from your local Asian grocery store. It is so easy to make as you just need to add milk and sugar to the packet mix! Then set the dough aside to rest for 30mins.

I turned to trusty old YouTube for instructions on how to put together my asado filling and dough. A big thank you to Panlasang Pinoy for your YouTube video. I was able to get my buns looking quite nice thanks to your instructions 🙂

Once you have completed your buns, place a square piece of baking paper underneath them before placing them in the steamer so that they don’t stick. Then steam your buns for about 15mins. Serve hot!

 Hope you enjoy this recipe!

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Live & love each moment

When you become a parent, it’s like ripping your heart out of your body and carrying it around in your hands – Mamamia.com.au

I came across the article below from a tweet posted by @Mamamia and having recently given birth to our first baby, reading it made me feel very emotional. As if the overwhelming feeling of love I felt for both my hubby and our baby was not enough, this article below further pulled on my heartstrings giving a glimpse of what else I may go through over the coming years. The post below is a reminder for us to live & love every moment we have with our families and to appreciate what our loved ones do for us.

Article below by :

I have a dream that I am looking at a baby. He is mine, all wrapped up in a blanket on a hospital bed. He is hooked up to machines and I am worried. Every time I pick him up, his heartbeat gets weaker. When I put him down, it gets strong again. The doctors and nurses assure me that this is normal. I have done nothing wrong. It will be our life from now on. I can hold him sometimes, but not for too long. More often than not, I will need to give him space, let him be. I am told it is the best thing for his heart. I tell them it is the worst thing for mine. In the dream, I surrender, willing to care for him the best I can. The message is clear, I need to learn a whole new way to love. I wake up in a deep state of longing and realize, I am grieving. My child is changing and I am mourning.

cannot remember the last time I sang you a bedtime song, shared a blanket with you, trimmed your fingernails, pushed you on a swing, tied your shoes or cut your chicken at dinner. I do not know what the inside of your locker looks like, who you sit with on the bus, or what you choose for lunch in the cafeteria. You are messy. You hurl your backpack down and raid the cabinets for food deemed only mildly satisfactory. You bark orders for money, slam doors, curse under your breath, and list things you hate. I have made this list more than once. You demand a cell phone, R rated movies, and endless time on the computer. You listen to music with swagger and edge that blares into headphones for only you. You are fresh and fast with a comeback, always.

It has become my job to remind you that a pile of blankets in a heap doesn’t mean that a bed has been made. I push you to finish your poetry project, change your socks, wear your retainer, write your thank you notes, lay off the candy. I can’t be too excited or too disappointed. My heart must not shatter with sadness or burst with pride or I lose you. You ride high and bottom out almost daily. But I cannot join you. I try to stand back, offer support, let it play out. The impact of my consequences have almost no outward effect, my approval seems to matter the least, and it’s becoming rarer for you to back down.

Whenever you lash out, pull away or retreat, I want to reach inside you and pull out the boy who loved Buzz Lightyear and never criticized the Red Sox or his mother. I long for the boy who would wear costumes in public, leap from furniture, and dance wildly, red faced and sweaty from play and imagination. I desperately want to capture you and frantically run away to a distant amusement park on a random Wednesday when you’re scheduled to take a math test. We’ll race together from the giant water slides to the crazy roller coasters and eat fried dough until we’re sick. We’ll waste money, laugh until it hurts, and you’ll hold my hand and squeal that I’m the greatest… of all time… ever. We’ll return home to a permanent state of bliss and skip the betrayal of a temporary fix.

I stay at your bedside, aching for you to share one piece of your day. I am consumed by the potential of a meaningful conversation. You start to share your social woes and I am on the edge of my seat, undivided attention abounds. But you trail off, mumbling that I won’t understand. I scrounge for details from my middle school days to validate you and show I can relate. I get it! I was just there!You assure me things are different now. I nod. They sure are.

I look over at your younger brother, waiting patiently to be tucked in, while I’m all consumed in your adolescence. This is a harsh reminder of your growth and the precious passing of time. He needs me more constantly. You, in more intense, immediate spurts. But tonight I must go to him because the days are slipping on all of us. And when I find him where you are, I will long for this night and these struggles and victories — so overwhelming to me now, so strangely simple and innocent to me tomorrow.We are crossing over. You are my baby. But I cannot carry you now. You walk alone into a new world. I want you to linger here, but you constantly push. You will change. You will grow. You will stumble. You will rise. I will be soft and firm. I will guide and step aside. I will lean and I will pull. I will be lost and I will be certain. I will reach for you, and if you do not reach back, know that my heart remembers your heartbeat. And I will always be holding you there.

For more posts by Janell and more content around parenting, food and family, head over to iVillage.com.au

Top 7 pregnancy must-haves – a smooth 9 months :)

Take care of your body – it is the only place you have to live.

I have very sensitive skin and eczema. I have had eczema since I was born and throughout my teenage years I lacked confidence and was very self-conscious of this. It was only in my 20’s when I started to get into urban dance that I started feeling more comfortable in my own skin. Different costumes, dance gigs, positive company and doing something that I love allowed me to feel more confident in myself.

Even though in my last post I wrote about stretch marks and how they remind me of the precious time my tummy held a life inside of it, during my pregnancy, I still used creams and oils in order to keep my skin moisturized and prevent the onset of too many tiger lines! Using these oils prevented my tummy from getting too itchy and feeling too “stretched” out and also helped to keep my eczema at bay 🙂

My Top 7 pregnancy essentials!

So here are my top 7 products that got me through the 9 months in which saw many changes to my body:

1. Bio Oil – I used this oil every night from 9 weeks onwards before going to bed all over my belly, underneath my belly button and on my sides and back. It made my skin feel so smooth. I would have also used it every morning however I did not want the oiliness to transfer on to my work clothes. I used up around 4 bottles of Bio Oil throughout my pregnancy as I was very generous when slathering it on.

2. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lotion & Cream – I used the lotion as an all over body moisturiser and concentrated the use of the cream in the mornings on the same areas that I massaged with Bio Oil (tummy, sides, back). I think I used up around 6 or so bottles of the lotion throughout my pregnancy.  I had to cut the bottles in half when they were almost empty as the pump was unable to bring up the left over lotion on the bottom – they should really do something about the pump or the packaging!

The Bio Oil and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter products were my favourites as the Vitamin E and elastin kept my skin soft and supple all over!

3. Mum Dry antiperspirant deodorant – never really having to use deodorant before, I found that as soon as I got pregnant I needed this! You can depend on Mum 🙂

4. BioSilk Silk Therapy – I use this hair serum after I wash my hair to make it feel soft – it’s kinda like a version of Cuddley, for hair! I used this even before I got pregnant.

5. U Kotex Liners – for all your discharge needs – my beautiful ladies I travelled with to the U.S in May know all about this! ;P (remember the incident at Epcot Centre?)

6. Nivea Age Defence Facial Suncreen – with my daily 30 minute walk a must for exercise whilst pregnant, I used this sunscreen as protection and also found it to be a good base/primer before applying foundation! – a lightweight sunscreen that does not irritate the skin

7. Quick-Eze/Mylanta – not pictured here but I could not have survived without a packet of Quick-Eze or Mylanta on my bedside table – so quick to ease my reflux at night!

What are your top pregnancy essentials that helped you through the changes happening to your body over the 40 weeks? I would love to hear from you!

stretch marks…

A mark for every breath you took,
one for every blink, every sleepy yawn.
One for every time you sucked your thumb
waved hello, closed your eyes,
and slept in the most perfect darkness.
One for every dream you dreamed with me.
…It isn’t very pretty anymore
Some may even think it’s ugly
That’s ok.
It was your home.
It held you until my arms could
and for that
I will always find something beautiful in it. – Cassie Fox

I saw the above passage in an image on my Twitter feed and thought it was very touching. I gained a few stretch marks on my left hip during pregnancy and some underneath my belly button but after meeting baby for the first time last week, those marks remind me of the 39 weeks he lived in me – what an amazing and unforgettable experience. I am in awe of how the human body works. Take care of yours – it is the only place you have to live.

Below: original pic (Unknown Source)

Travel Tuesdays – Touching down in Paris ’09

I will never forget hubby’s face as we walked up and out of the metro into the world of Paris, France. After a long and tiresome flight he was just in awe at the beautiful buildings and scenery – like everywhere we looked was straight out of glamorous magazine shoot or an old school movie. We spent 8 nights in Paris for the last leg of our honeymooon and I can’t wait to go back! Here are just a few first pics we took on our first day there.