Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

These are basically cinnamon buns with the sugary fillings and glaze removed.  I thought it was a good idea to add mashed carrots into the dough since they go so well with cinnamon and raisins in my carrot cakes.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

Because I did not spread butter and sugar on the surface of the dough, there were no pretty swirls on my cinnamon buns. If you prefer to see that on your rolls, brush a generous layer of melted butter, followed by another layer of cinnamon grounds, brown sugar and raisins before rolling the dough up.  The layer of fat will keep the dough from sealing up during slicing and proofing.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

I baked these buns in my 9-inch/ 23cm clear glass pot instead of my round tin as I wanted to utilize the pot more.  It also serves as a great storage container for the buns since it comes with a heavy glass lid.

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns // Mono + Co

I feel great seeing carrots in my breakfast rolls!

Carrot Cinnamon Raisin Buns

235g plain flour
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon grounds
1 small egg, beaten
95g carrots, steamed + mashed
25g water
25g cold butter, cubed
50g raisins **

** Soak raisins in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.  Drain and gently squeeze dry to remove excess liquid before use.

In a mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together (plain flour, yeast, sea salt, brown sugar, cinnamon grounds) with a hand whisk.  Then add beaten egg, cooled mashed carrots and water.  Turn on the mixer to knead with a dough hook.  Once a dough ball is formed, stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Start the mixer again to knead for 1 minute before adding cubed butter one by one, and knead till the dough reach window pane stage.  Stop mixer and leave the dough to bulk rise at room temperature for 60 minutes.

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough to deflate and transfer to a clean and lightly floured work top.  Sprinkle worktop and palms with flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle sheet, spread raisins on the surface.  Roll up the dough from the longer edge and pinch to seal.  Slice the roll into 8 pieces and arrange them in a 9-inch pan.  Leave this aside to proof for another 60 minutes, covered.

Preheat oven to 170C, and bake the bread for 25-35 minutes.

When done, remove bread from baking tin immediately and place on a rack to cool completely.





Tidy Tuesdays : Cord Mess

Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co

Cords, cables, wires.  Where do I start and where do they end?  I am never the best person to decide power point locations around the house.  I will just hide them away for aesthetics purpose instead of considering their locations from a necessity point of view.

I wish every appliance will be wireless someday.  If that is not possible, then that device will come with its own retractable cord, like those found in the vacuum cleaners.  Extend when I use them, retract and hide the wires when they are being stored away.  Can’t help but see coils of cords around the house as a potential landing area for dust and dirt.   Thankfully, my electrical kettle comes with a design that allows the dangling cord to be coiled and hidden below the base.  Grease and dust? Yikes, you get the idea.

Right now, I am using 2 solutions to organize cords that are way too long.

Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co

Make knots : For slim and long ones like charging cables, which I want them at a fixed length, I shorten them by making a wobble, there are plenty of Youtube guides online, just search “wobble”.

This monkey knot looks stylish for cord management too, but I have yet to use it.

Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co

Cable Reel : For other devices that I need some flexibility in the cord’s length, I use this cable reel (photo above) from Daiso that allows me to coil up lengthy cords in a white subtle enclosure.  It comes in 2 models/sizes, but I find the large one easier to use as it coils up longer cords like those of table lamps (they are the most generous when it comes to cord lengths!) and standing/table fans (the adjustable reel allows me to alter the length of the cable depending on which part of the house I want the fan to cool down.)

I have 5 of this cable reel at various parts of my house now, they are a breeze to use and the best part is they instantly erase sight of cluttered cable mess tagging behind these appliances :

Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co Taming Cord Mess // Mono+Co






Housekeeping : Removing Rust Stain On Glass

Housekeeping : Removing Rust Stain On Glass // Mono+Co

Glass is one of my favorite material.  Plastic is on the other end of the spectrum.  Where possible, I will choose a glass container over Tupperware.  They look prettier and last really long if you don’t have butter fingers.  They are also really fairly easy to clean; most of the glass items in my house still look brand new.

All in mint condition, until I got this rust looking stain on the bathroom shelf.  Seems like someone left a wet metal cap overnight on it and the unsightly ring rust stain formed right in the middle of the shelf, a very eye catching spot.  When I run my finger over the stain, I couldn’t feel anything, just smooth glass, as if the rust color has be absorbed.

I have tried baking soda, in vain, hoping that it will gently scrub off the stain.  Seems like stains on glass are a lot difficult to remove than I thought.  Then I recall this “rust dissolving jelly”from Daiso sitting in the tool box.

Housekeeping : Removing Rust Stain On Glass // Mono+CoHousekeeping : Removing Rust Stain On Glass // Mono+Co

After leaving the jelly for a few minutes, the stain came off easily when I rubbed it off with cotton bud.

Gosh, lucky me,  no more eye sore on the shelf now.  Shelf is looking brand new again.

Housekeeping : Cleaning The Washing Machine

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Frankly, I felt like throwing away my 3 year old washing machine after cleaning it with the $2 detergent from Daiso.  The type of grime that surfaced after a 6-hour soak surprised me.  The clean freak in me just wanted to start afresh with a brand new one after learning how much gunk there is in a machine that is supposed to keep my laundry clean.  But there are some features that I really like about this washer, which I do not see in the current models.  So it is better to maintain a strict cleaning schedule for the washer, than to spend money on a new one which will eventually become dirty if neglected.

cleaning washingmachine 004
Why do I like my current washer?  First of all, it has a TUB DRY function.  I am not sure what exactly this is, but I know that the machine needs to be as dry as possible to  prevent mold and mildew from growing inside the washing machine.  The manual stated that this feature will allow water to evaporate from the tub; sounds like all machines should have this button, who will want the washer to remain wet after use?

Maybe this feature is a given in all other washers, but my hope is that the tub dry function actually opens up whatever “inlet/outlet” it has to improve air circulation, allowing the tub/drum and other inner surfaces to dry up as much as possible before the next use.

Secondly, the washer includes a TUB CLEANING mode, see that sparkle and shine drawing on the panel?  Again, I am unsure of its effectiveness; if it has any special motion programmed to really clean up the tub and wonder if this 54-minutes of spinning alone is enough to keep it clean; the user manual recommends “chlorine-type” detergent, so I use bleach only.  So far, that is all I do to clean the washer.

Lately, I found out about the availability of special washing detergent for washing machine from a Taiwanese home shopping channel.  One thing led to another, I saw pictures like this, video like this and a homemade version like this, and decided to try a washer detergent that I found in Daiso.  I have seen similar ones being sold at a Japanese supermarket, but they cost a lot more.

cleaning washingmachine 001
This box of washer detergent from Daiso comes with two individual sachets, 75g for each use.  I open up a sachet and pour the white powder into the machine while it is loading itself with water.  By the time the water level reaches the full load mark, I notice some black stuff floating around.  They look similar to the black flakes that occasionally attach themselves to my clean laundry.  I pause the cycle at this juncture, and let the tub soak in the solution for 6 hours.

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(photo above) These delightful looking bubbles appear after a few hours, letting me feel that the detergent is working, indication of cleaning in progress.
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After 6 hours, I switch on the machine again to continue its cleaning cycle.  As the washer start spinning, more dirt surface.  By now, I am pretty convinced that my earlier rounds of tub cleaning sessions have worked, even with bleach only.  If you think mine is dirty, take a look at this user’s account.

I decided that it is better to sieve out these floating particles than to leave them to drain on their own, in case they get stuck somewhere along the pipes and remain inside the washer.

(photo below) The small strainer  will be used for cleaning washing machine only from now on.

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After the machine has finished its entire tub cleaning mode, I decided to do another rinse cycle, as the instruction on the box stated 2 rinse cycles after the soak.  I threw in a clean towel, to see if I can get more of those “flakes” to attach themselves onto the towel, to check if the washer is really clean.  True enough, there were more :cleaning washingmachine 006
I became satisfied only after another 2 rounds of rinsing.  Makes me wonder if my 3 year old machine can be this dirty, what about my previous one that lasted for a good 10 years?

5 habits to stay after this enlightenment session:
// remove laundry immediately after the cycle is completed
// always keep the washer lid open when not using
// program tub dry function as auto
// stick to a monthly cleaning schedule, either with detergent, homemade mixture of baking soda + vinegar, or just vinegar
// avoid adding excessive amount wash detergent and stay away from fabric softeners to prevent residue built up inside the machine.  Instead, add baking soda to increase the effectiveness of the washing powder or salt as alternative to softeners.

What To Say At A Lo Hei Session

what to say during a lo hei session

Tomorrow will mark day #15 and the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration period.  Last night, we decided to have a last session of Lo-Hei for 2014 at home, with a prepacked Yu-Sheng ingredients.  I topped up with lots of julienned green radish and carrots, a lime, more ground peanuts (I thought the quantity they provided was too little), toasted white sesame seeds, and peanut oil.  Did not prepare fish, as no one takes raw fish at home.

The other few DIY Lo Hei sessions we had so far, always ended up with the same situation, not knowing what to say, as the ingredients are tossed in.

Not this time.

So asked my eldest daughter to do some Goggle-ing, and we happily tossed the Yu-Sheng ingredients away.




/ the website  for the auspicious phrases.

/ i found this info-graphic later.

/ hundred percent  homemade Yu-Sheng is possible.

A Lovely Long Weekend

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01. We managed to catch the Deepavali Festival Village tucked along Campbell Lane and Hasting Road on the its final day.

02. The bazaar was huge on party poppers, confetti showers, and decorative items.  It got really crowded when we reached the festive snack stall.

03. The block of flats above Tekka Market, interestingly, houses lifts with transparent viewing windows! (Is this a trend everywhere, or have I been living in a cave?)  We took it all the way up (25 floors in all), and could see Marina Bay Sands from where we stood.  I then realized that the lift interior was uncomfortably hot and stuffy, due to the scorching noon sun that was shining through the window.  I silently prayed that the lift would not stall on my way down, for I think it is pretty painful getting stuck in there where the ventilation fan above don’t even work well enough, suffocating while waiting for help. (Touch wood!)

04. I later learned that the Indians have a very, very sweet tooth.  I bought 6 pieces of the sweets back to sample (they have a lot more variety!), but I could only bit a tiny portion off each time, only to find it too sweet for a second bite, before returning it back into the fridge.  It is still there, and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to finish them at all…

++ I passed by Moghul Sweet Shop (48 Serangoon Road) and saw a long queue at its entrance.  Will return for their Kaju Katli, as they look simple amazing with the edible silver foil! ++

Teachers’ Day Printables

Teachers' Day Printables // Makingitblissful

*This post is totally late as Teachers’ Day fell on the 6th September this year.  But I think the links to the printables will come in handy again when the kids give their teachers a gift of appreciation for the end of the school year later in November.*

I prefer snacks like chocolates or candies when it comes to gift ideas.  I’ll either re-wrap them with a customized candy wrapper, or re-pack them into little bags and add a cute gift tag for a touch of personalization.

I decided on this Owl Thank You Teacher printable from Living Lorcurto in the end, after sourcing through the list of possibilities from the web.  The best part is : they are all FREE!

1. Teachers Are Treasures Chocolate Board via I Heart Naptime
2. Chocolate Bar Wrapper via The Celebration Shoppe
3. Tote-tally Terrific Teacher Gift Tag via Uncommon Designs
4. You are the Berry-Best Gift Tag via Love The Day
5. You are an Awesome Teacher Tag/Label via Design Mom
6. Simple Thank You Card via Tip Junkie