Monday, March 24, 2008

My Babies Fav Food...

When the time came for me to introduce solid food to my babies, I would wonder what's the best that I could give them...My first child, Itqan, quite choosy in picking food. It was a great challenge to wait for her to finish up her meal. Always ended up her mother had to eat everything that was cooked for her (nak elak membazir la...)I tried every kind of soup, let it be chicken soup, the expensive button-mushroom soup...every kind of porridge and etc...after a lot of trial and error sessions, I know what is the best meal to prepare for Itqan...Itqan loves Italian food especially those with the cheesy and creamy taste...good for her coz cheese and cream are the sources of calcium and proteins...

Itqan's Favourite 1: Carbonara Spaghetti

350 g spaghetti
100 g (3 1/2 oz) chicken frankfurter (Ayamas), cubed/sliced
2 eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
Grated Pecorino cheese (cheese made from sheep's milk)
Grated Parmesan cheese (you can buy readily grated cheese from Carrefour or Giant Hypermarket)
4 tablespoons light cream (single cream)(You can use vegetable cream for low fat meal)
Freshly ground pepper, if you like

Instruction: Cook spaghetti in a large kettle of boiling salted water according to package directions. In the meantime, simmer chicken frankfurter in a wide frying pan with the olive oil, stirring, until it browns on all sides.
Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt, the grated cheeses and light cream. Season to taste with pepper, if you like.
Drain spaghetti very well, pour into the frying pan and stir in order to flavor pasta. Then add the beaten eggs. Stir accurately, keeping the pan lightly lifted over the flame to avoid eggs overcook(ala-ala char kuew teow punye stail): they must warm up, not overcook! The secret of this creamy first course lies in this step. For babies, it is better if you can cook the eggs a bit longer to avoid food poisoning. Alternative step, heat the meal in microwave for a while..that may kill all the bacteria in the egg.
Serve immediately.

Itqan's Favourite 3: Bolognese Spaghetti

Easy to prepare and a very healthy food because it consists of all the classes of food needed for the growth of children...carbohydrate from the pasta, protein from the meat, vitamin A from the tomatoes, vitamin B and C from the green vegetables (parsley, celery and etc), vitamin D from olive oil, calcium from grated cheese, antioxidants from garlics and onions, and minerals from the combination of ingredients.

Ingredients are:

2 tbsp olive oil
4 pcs chicken frankfurter, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g minced beef meat
2 table spoons vinegar
400g cans chopped tomatoes (Prego's)
290g jar marinated mushrooms, drained
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme or a small handful of fresh leaves, chopped
12-14 sun-dried tomato halves, in oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the chicken frankfurter until golden over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, frying until softened. Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry it until it has browned, breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon. Water will ooze out from the meat. When the meat is quite dry, reduce the temperature and stir in the tomatoes, drained mushrooms, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and balsamic vinegar.
2. Either blitz the tomatoes in a small blender with a little of the oil to loosen, or just finely chop before adding to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer the Bolognese sauce over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until it's rich and thickened, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the basil and add any extra seasoning if necessary.
3. Prepare the pasta as instructed in the previous recipe. Serve the pasta in a plate with a little parmesan over the spaghetti before adding a good ladleful of the Bolognese sauce, finishing with a scattering of more cheese and a twist of black pepper.

yum!yum! enjoy yourself!

Itqan's and Ijlal's Favourite: Mashed Potatoes


675g potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
150ml/¼ pint milk

1. Peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized chunks. If you are not going to use them straight away, keep them immersed in cold water.
2. Cook the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted boiling water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.
3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan.
4. Mash the potatoes with butter until smooth
4. Pour the milk over the potatoes and mix them well forming a smooth texture.
5. Season to taste and serve immediately.