What’s for tea, mum?

Don’t fret if you’ve run out of ideas for the kids’ mid-afternoon snack. Fill their tummies with these delicious treats.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Don’t fret if you’ve run out of ideas for the kids’ mid-afternoon snack. Fill their tummies with these delicious treats.

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Grilled caprese skewers

Makes 16 skewers


4 tbsp basil pesto (from supermarkets)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 ball of Galbani cow’s milk mozzarella

350g cherry tomatoes

1 Preheat the oven on grill mode or to its highest temperature setting.

2 In a small bowl, mix pesto and olive oil together.

3 Slice mozzarella into 3cm-thick cubes.

4 Prepare bamboo skewers by soaking them in water for at least 5 minutes. Slide mozzarella cubes and cherry tomatoes onto each skewer in an alternating order.

5 Place skewers on a baking tray and grill for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melting yet golden brown on top. Drizzle pesto sauce over the skewers and serve.

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Sarah Benjamin, cook and host at Asian Food Channel, contributed these recipes.

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Spiced banana and peanut butter turnovers

Makes 12 pieces


1 packet (around 480g) frozen puff pastry sheets

4 bananas, sliced ½ tsp rempah kueh (spice mix, from supermarkets) or cinnamon

Zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp orange juice, freshly squeezed

1 tsp cornflour

6 tbsp peanut butter

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp demerara sugar, for dusting

1 Preheat the oven to 200 deg C. Roll out each pastry sheet to 0.5cm thick and cut out 12 squares measuring 10cm each.

2 In a bowl, mix bananas, rempah kueh, orange zest, orange juice and cornflour.

3 Spread ½ tbsp of peanut butter over the centre of each pastry square, and top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the banana mixture, making sure to leave the edges of the pastry clean.

4 Brush the edges lightly with egg wash and seal shut. Use a fork to crimp the edges.

5 Prick the top of each turnover lightly with a fork, and brush the top with egg wash. Sprinkle sugar on top for extra crunch. 6 Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Curry chicken pops

Makes 24 to 30 pieces


1 litre vegetable oil

1 cup Seah’s Spices Singapore Chicken Curry Spices powder

2 tsp salt 1 cup cornflour

3 eggs

2 cups panko (breadcrumbs)

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks Chilli mayonnaise, for dipping (optional)

1 In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil to 180 deg C.

2 Set aside two bowls and a plate. In one bowl, combine the curry powder, salt and cornflour. In the other bowl, crack eggs and beat them. Add panko to the plate.

3 Dust chicken pieces with seasoned cornflour, dip them in egg wash, and finally coat well with breadcrumbs.

4 Deep-fry the chicken pops until golden brown. Serve with chilli mayonnaise.

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Sate ayam with peanut butter dipping sauce

Makes 6 to 8 skewers


For the sate ayam

2 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweetened soya sauce)

1 tsp oyster sauce

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil of your preference

2 chicken breasts, deboned, skinned and cubed

For the sauce

200g unsweetened peanut butter

2 tbsp kecap manis

½ tbsp light soya sauce Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil of your preference

Water, to thin out the sauce

½ tsp chilli powder (optional)

1 Soak 6 to 8 bamboo skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.

2 In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sate ayam, except the chicken. Marinate chicken in the mix. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

3 In another bowl, add all the sauce ingredients and mix until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 tsp of water at a time to thin it out. The consistency should be slightly runnier than peanut butter. Include chilli powder if you want a little spice.

4 Thread 3 or 4 cubes of the marinated chicken onto each bamboo skewer.

5 In a frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly charred yet cooked through. Serve with sauce.

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Strawberry vanilla mug cake
Makes 1 mug
4 to 5 strawberries, stems removed and chopped into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp lemon juice
3½ tbsp castor sugar
¼ cup & 2 tbsp plain flour
tsp baking powder
tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
½ tbsp vanilla extract
1 Mix strawberries with lemon juice and 1 tbsp of sugar. Set aside.
2 In a large mug, mix flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining 2½ tbsp of sugar. Stir well with a fork.
3 Create a small well in the middle and add the oil, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well.
4 Microwave the mug cake on high for 2 minutes and 10 seconds. To serve, let it cool and top with strawberries.
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Polo Seah, executive chef of Humpback, contributed these recipes.

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Cheesy orzo with pumpkin

Serves 1


500g squash pumpkin, cubed

1½ tbsp olive oil 60g unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp salt


120g orzo pasta (from )

50g shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

10ml white wine

50g parmesan cheese

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 Mix the pumpkin with ½ tbsp olive oil, 50g butter and 1 tsp salt.

2 Wrap the pumpkin in aluminium foil and bake at 180 deg C for 1 hour or until soft.

3 Puree the pumpkin in a blender and set aside.

4 Set water to boil and add the remaining 1 tsp salt. Cook orzo for 3 min. When cooked, drain the water and set pasta aside on a plate.

5 In another pot, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, and sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent.

6 Add the orzo and stir well, then add white wine.

7 Fold in pumpkin puree and cook for 1½ minutes.

8 Remove from heat and fold in the cheese and remaining 10g of butter. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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Pear and maple bacon bombs

Makes 8 pieces


50g streaky bacon, sliced

1 Packham pear, cut into small wedges

10ml maple syrup

1 tbsp olive oil

A pinch of flaked salt

1 Wrap a strip of bacon over each wedge of pear and brush with maple syrup.

2 Poke a toothpick through each bacon-pear bomb to secure it.

3 Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry bacon-pear bombs on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side. Sprinkle salt and serve.

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Devilled eggs

Serves 2 to 3
2 tbsp salt
5 eggs
150g mayonnaise
50g smoked salmon
20ml lemon juice
50g shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp chives, finely chopped for garnishing
1 Bring water in a pot to the boil, add salt and cook eggs, fully submerged, for 7 minutes. Salted water gives the eggs flavour.
2 Prepare an ice water bath to transfer the eggs to, which stops the cooking process.
3 Once the eggs have cooled, peel and cut them in half. Remove the yolks.
4 In a bowl, add yolks and mayonnaise, smoked salmon, lemon juice and shallots. Mix until they form a paste.
5 Transfer the paste into a piping bag. Pipe it into the egg whites. Garnish with chives.

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Tapioca balls
Makes 20 pieces
200g gruyere cheese
150g feta cheese
50g Parmesan cheese
175ml full-cream milk
75g salted butter, softened at room temperature
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs
400g tapioca flour
Oil, for deep-frying
Mayonnaise, for dipping
1 In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except the tapioca flour and oil. Whisk well.
2 Slowly mix flour in until you get a ball of dough.
3 Transfer to a tray and leave it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
4 Pinch off roughly 30g portions and roll into balls.
5 In a pan, add enough oil to cover at least half the pan, then deep-fry the tapioca balls for 5 minutes each. The balls will rise when cooked. Serve with mayonnaise.
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Chicken cordon bleu

Serves 2


300g chicken breast

10ml Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Dijon mustard

A pinch of salt

A pinch of black pepper

60g shredded mozzarella cheese

50g plain flour 

1 egg, beaten

120g breadcrumbs

1 Marinate chicken in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 min.

2 Create a pocket in the chicken breast by slicing it without cutting all the way through. Stuff mozzarella inside the pocket, and seal with a toothpick.

3 Coat chicken in flour, dip in egg, then in breadcrumbs.

4 Pan-fry each side for 2½ minutes, or until golden brown.