of Yaps and Cheng

loving living

Leave a comment

DIY: Homemade Playdough/ Playdoh (cooked version)

Dim Sum and The Mangosteen. By Eve & Yanni.

When Eve and I were arranging a playdate for Jingheng and Lucas, she text to say to bring my cookie cutters because she was planning to try and make playdough. Then went a jolt of “so fun!” through my mind, and then “I should contribute too!”. I’ve been meaning to try my playdough recipes a few months ago but my lazybones body refused to move. So thanks to Eve, I finally sprung into action.

I tried the 2 recipes from Instructables, both require cooking:

  • one by canida – she adds colouring after the dough is done
  • another by Lorddrake – colouring added while cooking dough

I preferred canida’s after trying both, because I could just cook once, divide the dough, add various colourings to get different coloured playdough. I’ll just share her recipe and basic steps here, you can click on their links above for more information.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cooking in process photos by pregnant sis Mengting; Playdate photos by Eve.

Canida’s ingredient ratios:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsbp cream of tartar (for improved elasticity)
  • food coloring

Steps (My own simplified version):

  1. Mix all ingredients and stir fast over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes. Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and starts to pull away from the sides and clumps in the center. Remove pan from heat. NOTE: If dough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer!
  2. Allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
  3. Knead the dough on a counter/mat vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.
  5. Make a hole in the center of the ball and add in food coloring. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the entire ball evenly. Add more colour as necessary to achieve your preferred color.
  6. Voila! Your playdough is ready for the boys and girls.
  7. When you’re done playing, you store the playdough in an air-tight container, or zip-lock bags like me. I stick it in the fridge when not playing to make it last longer

I like Eve’s uncooked version, has no small flour lumps like mine, will post hers when I get it. She’s doing a control experiment to see how long these homemade dough will last, will share the results once out.

If you are interested in using Playdough for art, here’s one on doing Playdough Painting. Qiyun, this should be relevant for you, especially page 6 where the guy shares his experience on drying the artwork.


Leave a comment

DIY Recipe: Moist Banana Cake

I’ve always seen myself as a cookie baker and have never been really successful with cakes, e.g. I have tried at least 20 times for the Choc-cake-in-a-mug recipe but have not found the best mix for the crumbly fluffy cake texture. I’m a cake-idiot in my opinion. Until I found this Moist Banana Cake recipe.

Gosh, even a cake-idiot like me can bake it to yummy-goodness. It’s the few stuff I make which hubby gives the unconscious Ooh-very-yummy look on his first bite. And the fragrance while the banana cake is baking is really heavenly – your kitchen smells like the neighbourhood bakery for the next few hours.

So you really gotta try. Really moist, no kidding!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Prepare ingredients:

  • #A: 1/2 cup softened butter, 7/8 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla essence = MIX & BEAT
  • #B: 1tsp baking soda, 1/4 milk = DISSOLVE BAKING SODA IN MILK
  • #C: 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/4tsp salt = MIX
  • #D: 2 1/2 large bananas (or approx 1cup) = MASH


  1. Beat #A in a big bowl
  2. Mix #B to #A in small portions
  3. Alternating between #C and #D, add to mixture
  4. Add mixture to cake pan.
  5. Bake at 180c for 30-40min (I used my breadmaker, and baked for 1hr under the “Bake” settings)
  6. Cool about 30min on wire rack. Slice  and store in airtight container. Finish it within a 3-4 days.

Wish I could attribute this moist banana cake recipe, but I lost track of which googled-recipe I used.

– I used those long Cavendish bananas most of the times here as it is easiest to find, but the first time I tried the recipe, I used small sweet bananas (my mum calls them “gek leng” bananas, I wiki-ed and they look like Latundan bananas) and the cake turned even more moist.

– You can add another 1/2cup more sugar if you prefer sweeter cakes. I usually use less sugar in all my cooking.

Leave a comment

DIY Recipe: Beef Goulash

If there is one thing I’ve picked up in the 2 years living overseas and being a housewife (to myself: urgh so unglam but it’s the real world babe. It’s the only option in all occupation column describing you babe), it is cooking.

Forced by circumstances with a young toddler in tow in a country of countless food scares and/or super oily and salty outside food , and armed with the housewifey time now that I’m no longer a full-time research analyst, I have transformed into a chefy!  My hubby said “I love you in spite that you can only cook maggi mee” when we got married. So I have come a long way!

Tried beef goulash last week. It worked, hohoho! Ingredients are simple, not too many steps, just need more time to stew. Quite yummy also :p

Goulash (Mummy, your food photography is.... bleah leh. Lucky the actual food is more delectable than your photo)

Here’s how!

Note: The amounts used are estimated, adjust according to your preference. Serves 2 adults + 1 hungry toddler

From the fridge:

  • 2-3 very large tomatoes
  • beef, cut into 1-inch cubes ( I coat them with some cornflour to make the meat more tender)
  • 1-2 stalks celery, cubed (You can also add carrots, potatoes etc to up the nutrition and vege quotient)
  • 4-5 garlic, chopped (minced it really fine if you don’t wanna bite into it)
  • Some butter/ canola oil
  • Salt, pepper. Feel free to add other herbs/ seasoning
Turn on your stove:
  1. Soup base: Boil the tomatoes in a pot of water, till skin breaks. Remove from pot, and peel off skin when slightly cooled. Chopped the tomato into small pieces if you prefer chunkier soup, or smaller bits if you prefer a smoother texture.
  2.  Bring tomato mash to boil over medium heat. Add butter/ oil, salt and pepper to flavour. Let it boil till resemble stew.
  3. The munchies: In the meantime, heat some oil in a pan and brown the beef cubes on all sides. Add garlic and stir fry for a while. Add celery and stir fry till fragrant. Drain away excess oil.
  4. Add stir-fried stuff to the tomato soup. You can add water if you prefer goulash to have more soup. Continue to stew over medium/ low heat for about 45 minutes or until beef is tender.
  5. Serve it up! Croutons add an additional crunch!
Let me know how this works for you!