Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Children's Success and Understanding Their Desires

We have heard stories of children shying away or keeping to themselves and not wanting to try or speak their views and their performance in school or sports are weak. Could we as adults help our children towards the path of success, whatever that definition might be?

This is not only applicable in school or on the field or at home but in the kitchen as well. It applies to everything that our children do and any environment that he or she is in.

Praise works with children all the time. Critism must be done properly. Children are not adults. And even adults cannot take critism, a lot of the time!

Child Psychology Giclee Poster Print by Norman Rockwell, 12x14

I picked up some of these tips and have summarised them below. It would be great if you can provide your views and comments on them or if you have other lessons that adults can learn from.

Tip 1
Think before we speak - as parents, we tend to be impulsive when it comes to analysing our kids behaviour. I am so guilty of these. I presume and assume. CONSIDER OUR KIDS' FEELINGS BEFORE TALKING.

Tip 2
Wait before speaking - Cool down before commenting on our child's performance

Tip 3
Displine when needed. Don't allow kids to get away with inappopriate behaviour. My young son had spoken rudely to one of my adult cousins. I made my son call him later in the day and apologize. If we as parents dont displine our children appopriately, nobody else will. Even teachers give up after some time.

Tip 4
Smile before speaking. A smile reduces tension and allows everyone to ease and listen.

Tip 5
Think long term before analysing and speaking - children have their own stressess. Some things are best not said. It create more harm than good. Or pick another time to say it.

Tip 6
Praise before analysing and offering critism. Praise is so important for a child.

Tip 7
Teach the importance of hard work and practice. Personally, i use my own's children's experience to do this. I tell them to compare their results (whether its the exams, or piano or games) as when they practiced and worked hard and when they did not. Which all means that they can do it.

Tip 8
Separate results from effort. Dont be negative if the results is not the outcome of the effort. Continue to praise. Results can be unpredictable.

Tip 9
Be honest but compassionate. No false praises

Tip 10
Listen and Look. Kids say as much with their expressions and actions as they do with their voices. Parents who pay attention will understand their kids better and real desires.

Create this environment in the kitchen
It would raise our kids confidence, reduce anxiety and places them in the path of success.

These are 2 great books to understand what children are all about and what to do.

Understanding Your Child's Puzzling Behavior: A Guide for Parents of Children with Behavioral, Social, and Learning ChallengesUnderstanding Children's Development (Basic Psychology)
Click to Understand Children's Behaviour

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Dear Friends from all over the world,

I wish you and your families a Merry Merry Christmas and many happy returns! I hope you have a great Christmas and holidays. All the best to cooking and preparing great meals for the season with your kids, after all kids are so beautiful and they just make everything much more special!

Worcester Christmas Wreath Classic 24-Inch Maine Balsam Christmas Wreath17" Lighted Snowman Christmas Window Silhouette DecorationChristmas Tree Translucent Window DecorationsLighted Snowmen Totem Christmas Decoration16" Lighted Double Bell Christmas Window Silhouette Decoration

Happy Christmas everyone!

Best Wishes
From Harv Kay and family

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dumplings for Christmas

These colorful dumplings will be a pleasant surprise for Christmas and the kids can play a huge role in preparing them. They are easy and quick. There is no need for early preparation. This is something like the Japanese Dumplings, Mochi.

Dried Sweet Glutinous Rice Flour - 2x 1 Lb (Traditional Water Milled)
Glutinous Rice Flour - Click here to find out where you can get some
This recipe uses glutinous rice flour. There is a difference with rice flour, which is not sticky. You can get the glutinous rice flour at the Asian stores and supermarkets. Otherwise, you can get it here for a few dollars.

What you will need

For the Dumplings

Glutinous rice flour

For the filing - this is really up to you. You could have something savory or sweet.

For a savory filing – Fry chicken, potatoes, pepper, salt, garlic

For a sweet filing, you could use these ingredients

30g black sesame paste
15g castor sugar
10g butter
1/8- 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cold water

Mix the butter with sesame powder, salt, water and sugar. Make into small balls, using approximately 1 level teaspoon each and rolling into small balls with your hands

For the soup – again optional – you could place the dumplings in a soup bowl or eat it like that

Boil about 600ml water with 35g sugar

How to prepare the dumplings

Place the glutinous rice flour in a large mixing bowl.
Add the water, a small amount at a time, working and shaping the dough until it has a texture similar to play dough – not too soft but smooth and easy to manipulate. Glutinous rice flour can be a bit tricky to work with –the dough can be sticky because of too much water. If that happens, add a bit more glutinous rice flour. On the other hand, if the dough is too dry, add more water, a small amount at a time.

Pinch off a piece of dough approximately the size of a golf ball. Roll the dough into a ball. Use your thumb to make a deep indentation in the dough, place a sesame ball or the savory filing into the hole and close it up. It is important to make sure the sesame ball is completely covered with the dough. Continue with the remainder of the dough.

Cook the dumplings in boiled water. Make sure to keep stirring in one direction while cooking. When they float on the water, continue to boil for about one minute using less heat.

Put them into a basin of cold water. Allow to steep in the cold water after that for a while.

Place some decorations around the balls and serve. Hint - you can use some food coloring to give some color to the dough above. The different colors of the balls placed on the table will add to the Christmas touch. After all, the world is global – why not add some colorful dumplings to the turkey!

Make the kids do most the above.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

15 Minutes Noodles

My boys prepared fried noodles today and they did it within 15 minutes. Cleaning up time not included! Today's lesson was simple, no math or science lessons. But to teach my kids to prepare a simple meal. To prepare them for when they are bigger and when mum's not around. Eating out should not be a norm. Its about setting the tone for eating in. 

We used thick yellow noodles. You can get it in the market or an Asian store or any supermarket. Using fresh noodles are better.

What we used:

Fat noodles (about 1 kg for 4 persons)
Onion, ginger, garlic diced
Chicken slices
Fish cakes, fish balls, bean curd
Vegetable of choice (cabbage, spring onions etc)
Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce, 18-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 2)Oyster sauce (for the extra taste - i use the Lee Kum Kee brand)
Soya sauce
Cooking oil

How to cook:

Fry the onions, garlic and ginger till golden brown
Add in the chickene
And then goes in the fish cake, fish balls (you can omit if you wish)
Add in the bean curd

Lastly add in the nooldes and the vegetables and of course the soya sauce
As you cook, let the kids hang on to the ladle and to throw the ingridients into the wok. Make them taste the dish before it is dished out. Let them decide how much soya sauce to put in. Explain why the chicken goes in first and followed by the rest (because they cook faster etc)

You can add some sliced chilly if you like to give it a little bit of a spicy taste.

And its done.

Its, simple, not too many ingridients, a meal by itself. You can pack the dish of for your kids' lunch too.

Happy Cooking and Teaching

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Cooking with Kids

This is a great season to be cooking and eating! And doing all these with the kids. Here are some books and bits and pieces that you may find useful.
Homemade Christmas: Tried & true recipes, heartwarming memories and easy ideas for savoring the best of Christmas.
Great Recipes for Christmas

Cooking Accessories  - Click on the photos for the full picture

Paula Deen 19-Piece Kids Baking SetMelissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Kitchen Accessory SetCurious Chef 26-Piece Holiday Cookie KitSnowman Mommy & Me matching Christmas Baking 6 Piece SET Child & Adult Aprons Pot Holders Oven Mitts

Holiday Cooking with Kids

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, GivingChristmas Cooking With KidsCooking Around the Calendar with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun