20% off Sale at Lemon Zest this weekend. Special Cookery Shop, Chip Bee Gardens

shop window cookery display

Lemon Zest, Chip Bee Gardens (opposite Holland Village Shopping Centre)

Holland Village isn’t the easiest place to negotiate with a double buggy BUT it is where you will find Lemon Zest, heaven for home chefs!

I was looking for a frilly apron to wear to my restaurant blogger’s review night (as you do)…. and, something unusual to hand out as a business card. Well, I discovered Lemon Zest, and I found a brilliant floral half pinny with pocket and some fantastic printed wooden disposable spoons that ‘served’ the purpose (chuckle). Middle son, who is the bull in our family’s proverbial china shop, was sleeping, so I took full advantage and snooped around the delectable range of accessories and books. Of course I ‘needed’ everything I saw, but managed to curb my spend to what I came looking for plus some top notch loaf tins. They are heavy duty pans, dishwasher safe, the works, and they performed brilliantly on their baking debut for my split tin loaves. I am going back this weekend to Lemon Zest for some scales – mine is simply too small!

Beth the owner of Lemon Zest was a fountain of knowledge and showed me some of the accessories Lemon Zest alone carries for cooks in Singapore, for example the Kilner Hand Butter Churns.

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Beth was also very proud of the cookery book section, which she had every right to be, it trumped plenty of cookery sections I’ve visited in the larger book stores. The photo below only shows one side of the display…this x2….

cookery books at lemon zest shop, holland village

Lemon Zest is located opposite Holland Village Shopping Centre in Chip Been Gardens (would have been directly behind the old post office before the MRT moved in, for those of you who have been around in Singapore for a few years!) It’s a bit hidden behind the rather large construction site on that corner, but persevere it is worth finding. The range is really big, and I’d recommend Lemon Zest whether you are looking for some accessories for a kids party, or you are REALLY serious about your cooking and baking. There are books, aprons, jam-making equipment, silicone bake ware, top quality pans, mixers, mincers, and grillers/toaster/waffle makers all-in-one.  Just ask Beth!

This weekend (25/26 April) Lemon Zest are offering 20% off all cookery books and you’ll get a FREE Kilner Jam Spoon with every spend over $50.

Colourful cookware at Lemon Zest cookery shop @Holland Village

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….”It’s hotter than a snake’s arse in a wagon rut”

Love this film, must watch it again soon.

It’s a sweltering week already in Singapore and according to the papers it’s going to be the hottest April (for…well for  a while!)

A top tip from me to you on where to go to keep your cool in Singapore… Splish Splash Parks!

Gardens by The Bay Singapore splash park

Gardens By The Bay

You really need kids for this one or you seriously risk looking suspicious. Splash parks are plentiful in Singapore. Free splash parks can be found at Gardens by The Bay, Jacob Ballas Garden @ Botanic Gardens, in Jurong at Westgate by their Wonderland rooftop playground, at Vivo City next to all the kids shops on the 2nd Floor, to name but a few… There are also great ones inside paying attractions like KidzWorld @ Singapore Zoo, Singapore Science Centre, Birdz of Play @Bird Park, and the Port of Lost Wonder on Sentosa Palawan Beach. Please let me know if you see our giant Pitter Chatter Painted Egg there!

I love splash parks as the kids have a ball and the risk of drowning seems less to me than a pool – especially important when you have three kids under four years old! Plus there is usually an ice-cream or coffee bar located nearby.

Damn-Hot-Diggety-Dog! Mrs Freeloader goes to the Rockin’ Diner

mrs freeloader rockin at The Rocikin Diner

Mr X is delighted, I finally have a ‘job’ that puts food on the table! I am officially a food blogger, and what better place to be invited to dine but The Rockin Diner, @11 Club Street. If you want all-american food, the taste, the SIZE, the smiles…this is the place to head. Open Mon-Sat 12pm to 12am.

Mrs Freeloader gives the Rockin Diner the thumbs up!

Hot dog from The Rockin Diner

The Frankenstein

My favourite were their ENORMOUS hot dogs, a fantastic smokey tasting chilli sauce and home-made Lasagna and a bad-ass selection of American, Belgium and European Beers and Ales. AND if YOU’RE the bad-ass, you have to check out their American desserts; The Nutella-Misu (a Tiramisu gone nuts!), and Peanut Butter Oreo Pie. Homer Simpson eat your heart out, then loosen that belt a notch, sit back and droooool…

the rockin diner dessert

The restaurant has a laid-back feel and Kelly the owner is a great guy and has a passion for American food and a good sense of humour. There are plenty of charismatic dishes – try The Philadelphia Cheese Steak, a filleted steak covered in caramalised onions, sautéed peppers and 3 cheese served on a ciabatta.

Philadelphia Cheese Steak

Philadelphia Cheese Steak

“American food is all about over-indulgence and generous portions,” Kelly says. “We are adamant in keeping The Rockin’ Diner true to the same vision, so we serve everything big, or we don’t even bother”.

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My favourite ‘dog’ of the evening was The Frankenstein, half pork, half beef, and covered in smokey chilli sauce. Mr X and I waxed lyrical about the perfect union of ‘two meats one bun’….we amused ourselves no end, and washed it down with a risqué bottle of ‘F***ing Hell’ beer and ‘A Dead Pony’ ale. Sweet.

Just need to get my hands on the recipe for one of those all american pie’s…

fucking hell beer

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David Cameron eat your heart out! Mrs Freeloader does dogs with a knife and fork!

Little Italy's Killa' Lasagne

Little Italy’s Killa’ Lasagne

the rockin diner interior

The Rockin’ Diner by The Mustard Incident, 11 Club Street, Singapore

 

No post about an American diner would be complete without some Travolta and Thurman boggie-ing down… Enjoy y’all.

Who wants to know…When is the right age to start taking kiddies to the dentist?

Dr Terry Teo, Paedodontist (Paediatric Dentist) of The Dental Studio, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) clinic

Dr Terry Teo, Paedodontist (Paediatric Dentist) of The Dental Studio, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) clinic

So apart from feeding the Friedlanders, another of my mummy jobs is looking after the kiddies’ pearly whites. If like me you were wondering just how old should my kids be when I take them to the dentist for a check-up? Check out this very helpful Q&A I did with Dr Terry Teo, Paedodontist (Paediatric Dentist) of The Dental Studio, a Singapore Medical Group (SMG) clinic.

Mrs Freeloader asks: What age is the best age to take children for their first dental check-up?

Dr Teo says…American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends the first dental check-up latest by the first birthday. This is more to establish a dental home for the infant, and to educate parents on proper oral health care in their growing child. [Woops, I am a bad mummy. Missed this one by 3 years. In my non-professional mummy opinion, to get kids ‘used’ to the dentist you could always drag little ones along when you go the dentist so they get used to seeing the dentist chair, let them sit in it, and see mummy have her teeth checked and smile lots, say lots of reassuring comments and reward them with stickers for waiting patiently. I hasten to add Juliet still has all her own teeth and I have now made her appointment for the dentist next month!]

Mrs Freeloader asks: Are electric or battery-operated toothbrushes safe for children? Because mine just love using them!

Dr Teo says…Yes electric toothbrushes are safe and fun to use, because some of the kids ones have helpful timers which chime after 30 seconds, giving an indication of how long each section of the mouth should be brushed. However, all kids should be supervised in brushing up till age 6 as below that they lack the manual dexterity and discipline to properly clean all tooth surfaces.

Mrs Freeloader asks: Should children floss or use mouth rinse?

Dr Teo says…If food is always stuck between the teeth, diligent parents can floss for their child. This is important to remove plaque inter-dentally [between the teeth] as that is a common area for dental decay to develop in children and adults. Kids with lots of spacing between their teeth need not floss that often. The most important tool in prevention of decay and good oral hygiene is a fluoride toothpaste and regular brushing twice a day, especially just before bed.

Mrs Freeloader asks: Are carrots and apples good foods for children as they are crunchy and help ‘clean’ the teeth?

Dr Teo says…Yes, fresh fruit and vegetables are always preferable to sweets, chocolates and biscuits as a healthy snack. Not only do they provide more nutrition, but crunchy food stimulates saliva which has a protective effect on teeth. Beware that certain fruit such as bananas and oranges have high sugar content, and also have the potential to cause tooth decay if eaten frequently.

Mrs Freeloader asks: Is it true cheese is good to eat for protecting teeth as it inhibits growth of plaque?

Dr Teo says…Yes. Cheese bacteria inhibits the growth of decay-causing bacteria. It is one of the best tooth-friendly snacks in growing kids.

Mrs Freeloader asks: Are there any ‘super-foods’ for healthy teeth and gums?

Dr Teo says…A balanced, healthy diet low in refined sugars is the best for healthy teeth, gums, and everything else in a child!

Mrs Freeloader asks:  Apart from the obvious (sugar and fruit juices), are there any foods kids should avoid eating that harm their teeth?

Dr Teo says…Fizzy drinks are very devastating due to their acid content. Lots of parents think biscuits are better than sweets or chocolates, but their sugar content is equally high and they can be grainy, meaning more gets stuck onto the tooth surfaces. This encourages tooth decay formation. Infant-formula milk, especially through a bottle, is a primary cause of Early Childhood Caries or tooth decay in young children, due to the added sugars in the formulations.

Mrs Freeloader asks: What are other pointers to note or symptoms to look out for in kids?

Dr Teo says…If a child is a slow or fussy eater, be sure to clean all food away from his or her teeth after meals, as sometimes children who have a habit of keeping food in their mouths or taking very long at meal times develop decay, due to the carbohydrates in their meals breaking down into sugars after prolonged exposure on their teeth. Look out for them complaining of pain in their teeth, and difficulty eating certain foods requiring lots of chewing such as meat and fibrous vegetables.

Thank you Dr Teo for your very helpful tips. Readers, if you have anymore questions or want to book to see Dr Teo you can reach him here…

Singapore Medical Group (SMG)
A. 290 Orchard Road #14-03 Paragon Singapore 238859  T.+65 6887 4232  www.smg.sg
SMG 24-Hour Patient Assistance Centre. +65 6735 3000

Giveaway! Register to win a MyMessyBox

mymessybox sensory playbox

The very generous team at MyMessyBox are giving one of you lovely readers a MyMessyBox all of your own. Just register RIGHT NOW to be in with a chance to win!

To qualify your entry to the giveaway please share a comment on my review of MyMessyBox,  or, retweet MyMessyBox tweet on the Giveaway registration page. 

Enter MyMessyBox Giveaway

Want to find out more about MyMessyBox? read my review.

Fun-in-a-box! Spark imaginative play the easy way with MyMessyBox

mymessybox sensory playbox

A product review of MyMessyBox. My 4 and 2 year old helped me and no gold or silver has crossed our palms!.Special Reader’s Offer from MyMessyBox at the end of this review…

“is designed to bring messy-sensory play into your own home with play tools and materials that encourage sensory exploration. It provides our children, who are natural explorers, with the opportunity for observation and manipulation through a hands-on learning experience. It’s a great way for children to engage their senses and learn through exploration, discovery and meaningful play.”

 

mymessybox kids play box

A bit like Christmas gifts, MyMessyBox and a Premium ToolKit were delivered somewhat magically to our house and left waiting to be discovered on the dining room table. Once spied by the kids, the boxes were surrounded and eager hands began to pick at the cellophane wrapping. I managed to get two toddler toilet trips by way of bartering the opening of MyMessyBox, which is a result in our house. Clearly MyMessyBox was valued by the kids as highly intriguing.

So off with the cellophane and open the box….

instructions for using mymessybox

Oooohhh…I then attempted to read some of the flyers which explain what’s inside MyMessyBox. Meanwhile the children swiftly removed all of the black packets containing the activity sets and demanded they be opened and “what is it mummy?”.

To heighten curiosity each activity session is separately wrapped up. And a little like a, [ah-hem], delivery from an ‘adult’ shop, the activity accessories were packaged in discrete black bags. The kids were beside themselves frantic by this stage to get into the opaque packets and the eldest had gone off to get mummy’s sharp kitchen scissors. Mindful mummy then intervened, got the scissors, opened said packages and dispensed them into the large Tupperware box we received with the Premium Toolkit. The Premium Toolkit is very useful – do order yourselves one of these if you can. I’d also recommend the sibling add-on which means two of the key ingredients and less fighting!

Like lancing a boil, the outpouring of MyMessyBox’s contents brought quiet relief to the table as the children gazed appreciatively over the new contents of our ‘treasure box’.

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Magnifying glass comes in the Premium Toolkit

And so we picked up our tools, mini-rakes, diggers, measuring cups, mini-pipettes, sieves and tweezers and started to poke about our macaroni-shell-fusilli ‘sand/pasta’ to discover the treasures hidden underneath. Our treasures included dried broad beans, cinnamon sticks, plastic dinosaur skeletons and more. Here is an audio recording of me and the kids setting up our treasure box and digging around exploring its contents, click here to listen. Apologies for my husky voice – just a bit of a cold passing through.

photo of my messy dining room covered in contents of mymessybox

MyMessyFloor….

After we had finished poking about and our treasure box had given up its contents to the floor…we moved onto the next ‘Active’ play activity which was creating your own dinosaur scene using the dinosaurs and other bits in the Exploration pack, and a few of our own improvised additions; leaves, grass, pebbles etc. The kids really enjoyed this bit as it was down from the table, outside, and a chance for them to run around imagining there were dinosaurs in the garden. At least 2 hours worth of fun was had.

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The eldest then wanted to do the other activities which included ‘Paint your own dinosaur wind chime’ and ‘create a fossil’ using pasta and bouncy clay (all provided in MyMessyBox). At this point it was tea-time and we didn’t get round to these other activities until Sunday. Daddy was home for these and the kids looked to be having a great time playing with the clay, squishing pasta and painting… another good 1-2 hours fun was had.

Would I recommend MyMessyBox? In a word YES

I say MyMessyBox is really good value for money. The idea of having something new to keep the kids entertained for 4 hours++ that YOU don’t have to organise – it just turns up on your door – every month – is priceless.

How much for MyMessyBox?

1 month ($34)
6 months + free basic toolkit ($192)
12 months + free premium toolkit ($360) – that’s less than a $1 a day!

The toys were ideal for my 4 and almost 3 year old. They particularly liked the dinosaurs themed box, and all the ‘equipment’ was suitable and safe for this age group. The activities/concepts/topics were stimulating as I had to explain fossils etc but at the same time simple enough for the kids to do with minimal help from me. The kids said they want another MyMessyBox to come in the post and at $30 a month on the annual subscription including delivery I do too!

MyMessyBox is a fun and original gift for a family. I think you would be very popular with any family you bought this for.

Thanks for reading this post – here are some special Reader Offers for you by MyMessyBox

  • 5% OFF usual price for Feeding The Friedlander Readers – use this code ‘FTF5’ when ordering
  • FREE downloadable Reward Chart and buttons by MyMessyBox when you sign up to their newsletter

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Infoband that kid! How to make sure your kids don’t get lost even if they wander off…

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Every parent’s nightmare…. your child goes missing in a busy shopping mall. Thank goodness it is usually just a case of curious and confident toddler wandering off to get a better look at something.

Save yourself unnecessary heart ache and get your kids an Infoband.

Priced just under $10, the question is why the hell wouldn’t you???

Simple to use
You write your mobile number on the band and your child wears it out and about. Infoband comes in a variety of girl and boy designs, they are comfortable for kids, waterproof, and  can’t be removed one handed by kids (or by me!). Any well meaning adult that finds your child looking lost, can simply call the mobile number and everyone breathes a BIG sigh of relief.

I bought my Infobands from the kids gift store on 2nd level, The Grandstand, Turf City. They have some great other stuff in there too… 😉

I’m stoked! Kickstart this exciting new food venture and you could win $1450 worth of gourmet meats

stoke gourmet meats

I have just been contacted by the founders of ‘Stoke’ a Singapore home delivery service who provide complete meat packages for your party or BBQ. Stoke are launching their business on Kickstarter and have asked me to help with the launch. How exciting. Best of all, you can help too and win some delicious meat. Yum. I’m appealing to the non-vegetarians right now, sorry Barbara, Jen..will seek out an exciting opportunity for vegetarians soon!

Kickstart Stoke and pledge £5 (approx. S$10) or more and win

Win What?… 3 months’ supply of gourmet BBQ meats and appetizers from Stoke (valued at S$1450) or a table for 12 at Stoke’s first “Farm to Table Culinary Adventure” BBQ Party by making a pledge (minimum £5) for Stoke.

Treat your taste buds to 100% authentic acorn-fed Spanish Pork Iberico, award-winning organic British 96% pork sausages, organic beef & lamb, and much more. Alternatively, you may choose to invite your friends to Stoke’s first gastronomic BBQ party where you can enjoy a five-course dinner of Stoke’s freshly grilled specialties from around the world.

The runner up will receive 3 months’ supply of Stoke’s Basic BBQ parcel (valued at S$540) or 4 seats at Stoke’s “Farm to Table Culinary Adventure” BBQ party.

That’s not all. If you pre-order your BBQ parcel today, you will get 10% off you next order, by quoting code “MIT888”. To register for the competition and pledge, click here.

*Please note Terms & Conditions apply. See competition page for full details.

An Idiot’s Guide to Kickstarter…

For those not so familiar with Kickstarter…it is a crowd funding website for ‘projects’. New ventures/businesses/projects invite the public to pledge money in return for a special offer, e.g. limited edition versions of their products, the chance to win a month’s worth of meat… and so on. There are all sorts of exciting, weird and wonderful products and businesses on there, and it’s WIN WIN. YOU get something fabulous, new and/or at a bargain price, AND the business gets the funding they need. Go have a peek….

Why am I going to make a pledge on Kickstarter for Stoke? Firstly, Stoke looks like a great company. Secondly, you have the chance to win $1,450 worth of MEAT for just £5 pledge. AND third, its’ fun to be part of something new.