My "Too Cute"s

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chicken Posole



Haha, thanks Lin, for taking such a nice pix of my favourite soup in the world. Leave it to me, there won't be a picture at all; just the recipe. Now we have the pix, no recipe. Will do that in due time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Burmese Briyani or Danpauk

This was a recipe I stumbled upon. I had one and a half big tubs of yogurt and went into Jamie Oliver's website. I found this: Cucumber yogurt. I had cucumber, I had yogurt, I had cilantro. But no salmon for the tikka recipe. It didn't matter coz I was only interested in the cucumber salad recipe. Here goes:

Peel and halve your cucumber lengthways, then use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds
• Roughly chop the cucumber and put most of it into a bowl
• Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl
• Add the yoghurt, a pinch of salt and pepper and half the chopped chilli
• Pick the coriander leaves and put to one side

Then I googled for Burmese Briyani. I thought the cucumber salad would be a nice accompaniment for that. So why Burmese Briyani? When my Burmese friend got married many many years ago, we had a very memorable briyani but it was different from the usual kind we eat at weddings. It had loads of caramelized onions that gave the rice an extra but natural sweetness. And it was so nice that even though I wasn't a big fan of briyani that I had two helpings and resisted a third helping. Here's the recipe: Danpauk
Ingredients:
300g Basmati rice (2 cups Ecobrown brown rice/ Jati Basmati brown rice)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp margarine (1 tbsp and 2 tbsp canola/ sunflower/ vege oil)
250ml plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
900g chicken, chopped into large pieces (1 whole chicken, a bit larger than bite sized pieces, marinated with salt, paprika powder, a bit of pepper, a bit of oil)
80ml cooking oil (canola oil)
2 tbsp ghee (1 tbsp margarine/ butter)
5cm cinnamon stick, lightly smashed to break up

(A)
4 slices ginger
10 shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder

(B)
5 cloves garlic
1 star anise
5 cardamoms, lightly smashed
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp poppy seeds

Garnishing
10–15 cashew nuts, deep-fried
50g raisins
1–2 tbsp shallots crisps

Method:

1. Wash and soak Basmati rice in water mixed with turmeric powder for 30–35 minutes. Drain rice in a colander. (yup, I did this first too. How much water to cook? At the bag of the rice packet, it says for every one cup add two cups water. So it should be 4 cups water, except some I substituted with the "gravy?" from the chicken and also added a chicken cube. Anyway, while the rice is soaking, I'd prepare the chicken coz I wanted to use the excess gravy as stock to cook the rice. So if I had 1 1/2 cup of chicken gravy, I'd top up with 2 1/12 cup of water, so it becomes 4 cups water.)
2. Heat margarine and fry ingredients (A) until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in (B) and chicken. Fry well, then add in another 2 tablespoons yogurt and remaining salt. Continue to fry until chicken is tender. (You will realise at this point that you have loads of gravy from the chicken, later you'd only be putting the chicken in, so the gravy seems wasted, so I decided to pour out the excess gravy and use it as stock. Continue to fry chicken till the chicken browns.) Leave aside till it's time to put it into the about-to-cook rice.

To cook rice:
3. Heat oil and ghee (I use margarine) in a clean wok. Put in cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant. Add the remaining yogurt to mix. Toss in rice to mix, then transfer the well-mixed ingredients into a rice cooker.
4. Add sufficient water to a level that is 2cm above the rice (As mentioned, I substituted some water with the chicken gravy and added a chicken cube, add salt and a bit of sugar to taste). Cook rice for 20 minutes.
5. Open the rice cooker and add in the precooked chicken and continue to cook until rice is done.
Remember I said the wedding briyani I ate had caramelised big onions? Anyway, I browned some thinly sliced onions and put them in when i put in the chicken. I fried this separately.)
Add garnishing before serving.

I have made this 3 times now. It's nice...Really!

Corn Muffins Update!

They were so delicious! Not exactly like Kenny Rogers but much better than the 1st recipe I shared. I think I should delete that now that I have found something better. Will put a note there or something or try to improve it. So if you come across corn meal, go buy it so that you can make these lovely muffins. I reduced the sugar content to 1/3 cup but not the honey. If you still think that's still a little too sweet for your liking, I'd suggest you reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Found another Corn Muffin Recipe

This time I went for the obvious. Who knows, Kenny Rogers might share his recipe on the world wide web. I searched for "Kenny Rogers Muffins recipe" and lo and behold, stumbled upon this site where the top secret recipe is shared. It really does use cornmeal. Will try this tonight with Inez. She'll be pleased.

Ingredients [ View Metric ]
1/2 c Butter
2/3 c Sugar
1/4 c Honey
2 Eggs
1/2 ts Salt
1 1/2 c All-purpose flour
3/4 c Yellow cornmeal
1/2 ts Baking powder
1/2 c Milk
3/4 c Frozen yellow corn
Preparation

He knows when to hold em, and he knows when to fold em. He also knows how to make awesome corn muffins that come with the meals served at his chain of fire-roasted chicken restaurants. When Kenny Rogers isnt singing "Ruby," hes out promoting his fast-growing chicken chain. And its working out pretty good. Already there are 203 stores in the chain, and when Kenny cant do the promotion himself, the chaps over at the TV show Seinfeld help out by featuring the restaurant in one of their popular episodes. Now, with the help of this Top Secret Recipe, you can make some sweet corn muffins of your own that taste just like Kennys. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt in a large bowl. 3. Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder and blend thoroughly. Add milk while mixing. 4. Add corn to mixture and combine by hand until corn is worked in. 5. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and fill each cup with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins begin to turn brown on top. Makes 12 muffins. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com) Posted to recipelu-digest Volume 01 Number 438 by eyesopen@ix.netcom.com (linda /tennessee) on Jan 03, 1998

Am planning to reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup. And put in the same amount of honey required. Let's see how it goes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Corn Muffins-One thumb Up

It's nearing the school holidays and Inez has been pestering me to make cookies or cake. Of course, cake! Cookies are much more work. The kids are on holiday. I am not. Anyway, out shopping one day, I found a packet of cornmeal and bought it. RM13.50 a pack. I was thinking cornbread but a friend said Kenny Roger's muffins were made from cornmeal. Really? That'd be cool!

I went on the net and googled "cornmeal muffins easy". And below is the recipe I tried. Normally the first time I make something, I'd reduce the sugar but this recipe didn't use much sugar. Only a quarter cup for 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1 cup flour. The only ingredient I doubted was the baking powder. Cautiously I used 3 tsp but not exactly level teaspoons. I made 12 tiny muffins and a loaf. The tin was kinda big, plus I'd use some batter for the muffins, so it didn't really rise that high. The result was okay, definitely not too sweet, the way I like it but not as soft as Kenny Roger's, which would have been better. Maybe those weren't made from cornmeal. I have some more cornmeal. Will experiment some more. In the meantime, try these. They are really quick to make.

Corn Muffins

3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cups milk
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil (used canola oil)
1 cup flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn kernels (Didn't use this)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Let cornmeal and milk stand while you get the other ingredients together. Add the egg and oil to the cornmeal mixture.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and corn kernels. Stir to mix. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and combine just enough to incorporate.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (do not use paper). Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

Recipe taken from http://www.cookingnook.com/corn-muffins.html

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This is such an old song but still beautiful!



Lyrics to A Is For Allah :
A is for Allah, nothing but Allah;
Ba is the beginning of Bismillah;
Ta is for Taqwa, bewaring of Allah;and Tha is for Thawab, a reward;
Ja is for Janna, the Garden of Paradise;
Ha is for Hajj, the blessed pilgrimage;
Kha is for Khaatem, the seal of the prophethood given to the Prophet, Muhammed (SAW);
Da is for Deen, Al-Islam, religion with Allah since time began;
Dha is for dhikr, remembering Allah;
And Ra is for the month of Ramadhan, ohh Ramadhan;
Za is for Zakat to pure our greed, when we give our money to those in need;
Sa is for Salamu alaikum, peace be with you wa'alaikum assalam;
Sha is for shams, the shining sun, which Allah placed for everyone;
And Sua is for salat, for when we pray facing him, everyday, facing him, till we meet our lord;

Allah there's only one God and Muhammed is his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;

Dua is for duha, the morning light, the sun has turned from red to white;
Tua is for tareeq, the path to walk upon;
And Dhua is for dhil, a shadow;
And Aa is for ilm, the thing to know, to make our knowledge grow, in Islam;
Gha is for ghaib, a world unseen and that we know is not a dream;
Fa is for, the Opening, Al-Fatiha;
And Qua for the Qur'an, the book of God;
And Ka is for kalima, a word we're taught to teach us what is good and what is not;a
Nd La is for the beginning of La ilaha illa'allah;
Ma is for the Messenger Muhammed-ur-Rasoolillah.

La ilaha illa'allah, Muhammed-ur-Rasulilllah;
Allah, there's only one God and Muhammed is his Messenger.
Allah, la ilaha illa'allah;

Na is for nawm, the sleep God gave to give us rest after the day;
Ha is for the Hijra, the journey that, the Prophet made;
And Wa for wudu before we pray to help us wash our sins away;
And Ya for Yawm-mid-Deen;

Allah, there's only one God and Muhammed is his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and Jesus was his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and Moses was his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and Abraham was his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and Noah was his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and he created Adam, and we are the children of Adam.
Allah,La ilaha illa'allah;
Allah, there's only one God and Muhammed is his Messenger.
Allah, La ilaha illa'allah.
[ A Is For Allah Lyrics on http://www.lyricsmania.com/ ]

Blogging again...but for how long?

I know I haven't been blogging. And what I've posted is mainly just sharing. We really should be careful. People are getting more creative when they want to get their hands on your money, and property OR people can just do things behind your back.

Anyway, it's been a really hectic year. So much so, as I was updating my resume, I didn't have much recollection of the things I did. I was like, was that this year or was it last year? But despite the ups and downs, it's been a great year! I hope once I'm done with everything on my plate, I get to sit down and start writing again and sharing recipes. I'm really excited about brown rice at the moment. I've been experimenting. It's so euwwww cooked the normal way but as risotto or briyani, it can actually taste quite good. In fact, it's so good you want to eat a second helping.

Well, gtg. Will blog again soon, I hope. Ta ta!

Shocking video footage: Maid abusing child



The video makes me so sad to see a child picking herself in pain only to be kicked at, stepped and stomped on by a crazy maid who seemed possesed. Apparently parents put in a hidden camera when child kept crying when they got home, complaining of stomach pains. So now we can see the shocking truth. The maid was sentenced to two years' jail for assaulting the child.

I shudder at the thought of having my children abused like that. God forbid! Working Mom's maid used to hit on the head so there wouldn't be any apparent bruises. It's no wonder the child refused to follow the maid whenever the parents were around, even to get water. So beware, if you leave your maid unsupervised, read all the signs. Don't ignore them.

Here's link you can go to for more info about the above video.
http://forums.cozycot.com/cafe-talks/28577-maid-abuse-baby-video.html

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Something Worth Passing On In My Mailbox

Subject: BEWARE - Police warning when driving.!!

This is happening now!
Sad, especially if you are inclined to 'help' people...

While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Police and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the Police advised even before they went out there to check....

"There are several things to be aware of ... gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women)to stop their vehicle and get out of the car.

"There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police where gangs are placing a car seat by the road...with a fake baby in
it...waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby.

"Note that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person -- woman -- will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If it's a man, they're usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too.

DO NOT STOP FOR ANY REASON!!!


DIAL 999
AND REPORT WHAT YOU SAW, BUT DON'T EVEN SLOW DOWN.

"IF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSCREEN, DO NOT STOP TO CHECK THE CAR, DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND DO NOT SPRAY ANY WATER BECAUSE EGGS MIXED
WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5%, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS.

THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY GANGS, SO PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.

THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES AND THESE ARE UNSAVOURY INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL TAKE DESPERATE MEASURES TO GET WHAT THEY WANT."


Please talk to your loved ones about this. This is a new tactic used. Please be safe.

Get started NOW
-- SEND THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES TO BE CAREFUL AND AWARE OF EVERYTHING AROUND THEM SO AS NOT TO BECOME A VICTIM.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bandung's Kebun Binatang

This is the thing about leaving blogging sooooo long. I don't remember anymore my Bandung stories except that it's really not a good idea to bring kids unless you bring along someone who's totally not into shopping so that that person can keep an eye on the kids.

Anyway, since I've forgotten nearly everything, here's the other cool thing about Bandung besides shopping: its KEBUN BINATANG! Yea, it had the usual standard stuff but it had something else that other zoos I've come across don't have. Here goes:

Day 2 Bandung, very early in the morning, we went to the kebun binatang literally translated as animal garden a.k.a the zoo. It was something for the kids, who I think I mentioned got very excited when we passed the zoo in our van when we arrived to get to our hotel on the first day.

It was about 9 a.m. when we got there if memory serves me correctly, it was already bustling at the zoo. Peddlars were selling nuts to feed the elephants and some were selling balloons and some were selling food and there were already quite a number of people. Apparently, it was school holidays for the kids there. And we can see kids from different schools in their uniforms walking around with notebooks and pencils in their hands and busy jotting down things they see. Some were from kindergartens.

More interesting for me though was that people could have picnics in the zoo amidst the animals and the dust that hovered in the air. We were about to go back when we chanced upon a clearing in the zoo area and we saw that there was flying fox going on there but guess who were the participants? Children, younger than my kids!

What impressed me what not so much the animals in the zoo, but children, kindergarteners, were climbing up a bamboo ladder to a platform near the top of a coconut tree so that they can do the flying fox. Wow, why don't we have this in Malaysia?

At first, I thought, it’s okay, our kids are not missing out anything, after all we have roller coasters and all these extreme rides in theme parks like Sunway Lagoon and Genting Highlands but on second thought, kindergarteners are only allowed safe rides like the merry go round/ carousel and for some more slightly dangerous rides, they require parental supervision and accompaniment.

So, when I saw it I was excited. I wanted very much to get my kids on the flying fox. But my mom, who came along for the trip, said I was crazy to risk the children’s lives. Looking at the setup, I told my mom, it looked safe (there were about 6 to 7 people involved from wearing the safety harness to the one removing the safety gear) and watching the kids being harnessed up and hooked up, I was confident it was safe but only Mika was game. Inez didn’t want to climb up not even after a lot of persuasion. Only after seeing Mika do it, and that he wanted to go up again, then only she decided that she too wanted to give it a try. So we gave in to Mika's request and this time both Inez and Mika did the flying fox. It was really nice watch Inez who climbed like a monkey. Who would have thought? Just before, she was so scared, she didn't want to go up.

Among the Indonesian children, I didn’t see hesitation, I saw bravery and anticipation. There was one boy who was very young, 4 years old maybe, and kind of very plump and had rather short legs that he couldn’t climb up the rungs of the ladder that the guy who wore him the harness had to carry him up the ladder to the platform above.

Anyway, after Inez came down, she wanted to do it again. Zul was already gearing to go but we decided that since Mika did it twice, Inez should also go twice.

I was very proud of them because it is not easy for even adults to do this and again I wondered why we don’t have this in Malaysia. Why wait until we are quite old to do this (like during BTN) when this can be done when we are young, as seen here in Bandung. If you are not afraid to do this, then, you are not afraid of many things. I think if we have this for the young 'uns, they will benefit greatly as it will give them confidence, teach them not to be afraid and the importance of safety, and have fun, and not to be ‘chicken shit’.

And as much as I think it’s a lesson for the kids, I think it’s also a lesson for parents because it teaches parents to encourage their children to be brave. The same way it teaches parents not to transfer their own fears onto their children or stifle children’s curiosity but stopping them from asking questions just because they don’t have the answers or are too busy to answer the questions.

Children are simple. Seriously, they don’t see the benefits that we see for them. When I asked Mika why he liked it so much, he said, “I love it Mom because I can fly even though I had to hold that thing very hard and it’s fun!”

Here's the video of the the kids doing the flying fox. It's soooooo cooool! And the kids want to go back to Bandung to do it again. Maybe when they can behave themselves when the adults are shopping.



video


Notice the queue. Inez is in front, it's her turn next, and mika's behind her. Inez is 7 going on 8 in the video. She's very small for her age, and so is Mika. Look at the kindy kids behind them, nearly the same height and on the right hand corner you can see kids queing to put on the harness. It's about RM5 if I'm not mistaken per attempt. The guy at the ladder hooks them up and the guy on the platform monitors them and if a kid gets stuck, the guy putting on the harness will just carry the kid all the way up. But it's sooooo coool right?