Thursday, 31 July 2014

Travelling with Expressed Breast Milk

As more working moms are breastfeeding now (I do not have an official statistic to quote, but just judging from my workplace and from breastfeeding forums, I think this is on an increase), I get asked this question a lot as travelling is a part and parcel of the job. So, when they have a business trip, they are often stressed out about how to manage pumping and the possibility of bringing back the precious "liquid gold" for their baby. Plus, as travel becomes more and more affordable, nursing moms who are going for a vacation without their baby also would be thinking about this. 

The below is based on my own experience when I went  for overseas travel. I am not sure if you are traveling locally or not, but I am sure these tips are useful for any travelling moms. :)

World Breastfeeding Week 2014

August is here! Yaaaayy! This is my favorite month of the year for a few reasons. One of the reasons is that my birthday is just around the corner... and Mom's birthday is just a week before mine. My birthday is always followed by a holiday, and a holiday is always a welcome, right? :)

But, in the past few years, August brings about another important celebration, and it is none other than the "World Breastfeeding week" that lasts from 1-7 of August. This year's slogan and theme for World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal - For Life! This year's theme asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding - in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) countdown, and beyond. As one of the millions of celebrants of WBW, I too, pledge to Protect, Promote and Support Breastfeeding: it is a vital Life-Saving Goal!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Pumpkins Buns

I made these sunshine buns again recently in a baking session with baking enthusiasts. I have sessions like this monthly and it is really very satisfying seeing the faces of my new found friends light up when they see the end-results of their labor of love. 

In this round, most of them have not made their own bread before and I must say they did very well at learning how to shape buns. They look very rounded and nicely tucked in that you won't believe that this was their first attempt at bread making. Well done everyone! And unlike the last time I made the ones with red bean filling, this time I did not forget to add in the brown sugar and I also added some extra "Nutritious" boost to it too. But, if you do want to use any filling, you can refer to the post here.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This is an overdue post. Life has been hectic that sometimes we all need some buttercream in our lives and to just "STOP!" and smell the roses literally... The first thing I made with my Kitchenaid was this super smooth, light & airy, melt-in-your-mouth and dreamy textured buttercream. Although it was my first attempt at making buttercream, it turned out well. Yippee! (Skipping happily). This was like 15 months ago, when I got this stand mixer as a gift to celebrate the birth of my daughter.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I revisited this recipe for a baking session with some friends and I fell in love again with this sure-win recipe that is so easy to do. I even took a short cut from the original recipe and it still turned out superb.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Milk Buns

Last weekend, I planned to make these early this week and had prepared the overnight sponge dough which was chilling in the fridge. I knew I would be needing some "therapy" because it was the stressful time of the month again... (No, it's not what you are thinking about), where I would be busy preparing reports for submission. True enough, I was very tied up at work that I didn't get to bake my milk buns although my dough was chilling in the fridge for 4 days already.

I finally made these late last night. It was definitely a session of "Midnight Baking" here. But, it was truly satisfying as the Milk buns were so soft, flavorful, with a tinge of sweetness and my boy had one even before I had the chance to snap a picture.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

How do I latch my newborn?

This is a post for mothers starting out on their breastfeeding journey. "How do I latch my newborn properly?" This is one of the most common question that I get from new moms. In my own experience, I "read" about it online, saw some pictures and saw some more pictures during my antenatal class but nothing prepared me for the real thing. I ended up experiencing one of life's most excruciating physical pains due to cracked nipples.

It was really painful and I would dread every time I latched my boy and my toes would be all curled up to withstand the initial sting. Miraculously, most of the times, after the first 20 seconds or so (It felt like 20 minutes), the pain subsides considerably and becomes bearable. It doesn't help a bit for my already shattered confidence to breastfeed, that my firstborn was really a cry-baby (I am not joking, he was was either latching or sleeping or crying). All the thoughts of self-doubts of "If I really had enough of milk?" was pouring over my mind.

Why do I want to breastfeed?

Where do I start... When I started working, I was a sales representative in an infant nutrition company that markets products for babies and expecting mothers. So, when I was there in my early 20's, I had no idea of what breastfeeding was as I had never really seen anyone close or a relative breastfeed, and my mom didn't breastfeed my younger brother. The first memories I had of seeing it was on public buses where Malay ladies would just nurse their babies openly. But, strangely I didn't find it weird, I felt it was alright to do so as long as you do not mind other people looking.

Also, I remember clearly in high school, I had this teacher who got pregnant almost every year for many years and when she came back to work, she would sometimes stain her "tudung" (head scarf that muslim women wear) with milk. She wore a warm smile all the time and when she "leaked" she would say that it's a natural thing that would happen to breastfeeding mothers and she is not ashamed of it. Now, being a working mom, I really have a new found respect for my cikgu (Teacher in Malay language) that in those days, breast pumps were not a common thing and she would have to go through engorgement during the day when she was in school. Mothers Rock! :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Crispy Baked Chicken

I made and ate "fried" chicken THREE times last week. It all started as I was looking for inspirations for meat dishes to make for dear hubby, who is on a 45-day body sculpting program. On certain days of the week, he will skip carbs and he was feeling like having fried chicken one day. So being the Good Wife, I was looking for a "healthier" version for him. I mean, since he has done so well with all the healthy eating and losing that lil' belly (Dear, I love every bit of you and I thank you for accepting my belly too), we should try to maintain that, right? :)

Without further ado, I took inspiration from some of my favorite food blogs and recipe sites and I began making the seasoned flour and getting the wings ready. Ohh... I can just imagine that the Hot & Spicy Baked Wings will be good as the spices smells so nice! 

Here was my first attempt...

Cripsy Baked Chicken Wings
Attempt #1