Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 4 Challenge : Chicken Chow Mein

My daughter pop up a question when I did the dishes last night - after our glorious sweet n sour beef dinner: does Jamie do noodle?

Of course he does.
Me too.

So we had another quick stir-fry dinner, chicken chow mein partnered with noodle. Fresh and filling.

When I check the ingredient needed, there is on item I never use before, water chestnut, and I'm not familiar at all with this ingredient. I even never see it before, let alone taste it. I googled it out of curiosity -and even tried to translate water chestnut into Bahasa Indonesia, which came up with silly word not representing water chestnut at al-.
So I tried my luck to local supermarket, and found canned water chestnut on it's isle. Great.

Before you start turn up the heat, better be sure that all ingredients are ready, sliced and measured. All stir fries I experienced was always a quick cooking process, left you no room to stop, break and catch if anything missing from your prepared ingredients, let alone turn down the heat. Your stir fry won't taste the same.

So, for 4 serves, you will need:
* 350gr noodle (I used 1 pack fresh hokkien noodle)
* 2 large chicken breast fillet, cut into finger-size, season with salt n pepper, put aside.
* 1 bunch of bok choy, cut lenghtway, wash.
* fresh ginger, about 3cm, finely slice.
* 4 cloves of garlic, finely slice.
* 3-4 spring onion, finely slice.
* 4 shiitake mushroom (optional), tear into pieces.
* 1 fresh chilli, de-seed if you don't want it to spicy, slice
* 400g canned water chestnut, slice, put back on it's original water.
* Nut oil (about 30 ml)
* 2 teaspoon corn flour.
* 3-4 tablespoon soy sauce.
* sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
* bunch of fresh coriander, pick the leaves and finely chop the stalks
* 1 small lime, halve.

How to:
* Preheat a wok/large frying pan on high heat, add the oil, swirl it around.
* Stir in the chicken for couple of minutes until bit brown, then add the ginger,garlic,chili, coriander stalks, mushroom ad half the spring  onion, stir for another 30 seconds.
* Boil a pan of water, once it boiling add your noodle and bok-choy for about 2-3 minutes. Don't get overcooked.
* Add the cornflour and water chestnut and it's water to the wok, stir again and make sure nothing stick on the bottom of the wok.
* Remove from the head, add the soy sauce and juice of the lime, mix well.
* Drain the noodle & bok choy, reserving a bit of cooking water.
* Stir in the noodle and bok choy to the wok, add little cooking water if needed to loosen up.
* If you like, add more soy sauce to taste.
* Sprinkle with the rest of the onion and coriander leaves, serve with lime wedge.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day Tripper : Miniapolis

As much as we don't favour indoor playground, we kinda run out of option few Sundays ago. We don't usually do Sunday outing but since government decided that following Monday it's public holiday so we think it's ok to splurge another day on the weekend.

We could not stand the heat and humidity, so the idea to go play in Miniapolis- a kind of indoor playground-just pop on our head. We never been there as a family but Little Miss R went once with her school mate. She jumped for joy when we told her our destination and therefore busy telling her big brother for do and don't in Miniapolis.

It should be 30 minutes drive -tops- from our residence to Miniapolis -which located right in downtown Jakarta, on the 3rd level of Plaza Indonesia-. Thanks to our lack of information about half day traffic detour every 2nd and 4th Sunday on the bloodline of Jakarta -jl.Sudirman and jl.Thamrin,- took us more than 1 hour -which include circling around same streets couple of time, Google Map wasn't helping either-.

As we expected, not many visitors when we arrived about midday. We learnt our research that many Jakartan start flocking shopping mall around 1-2pm. Means we got chance to enjoy most before getting to crowded. We decided to bought day-pass ticket which covered all venues and unlimited playing time -and it's not cheap for sure, double it as well-.

 { Amazed }

 { Getting the ID tag }

Miniapolis itself bit larger that I thought, with shops surrounding its carousel and playground, mini-train track plastered on the floor, snaking around between shops and connecting one area to another. We jumped on the train and I had a good look of the shops when aboard while my kids enjoy the ride. Well-known shops like Mothercare, Crocs or Okaidi -the newest brand from French- were among them. I like independent store like Little Heirloom with their gorgeous display. One if them like Brown Tree displayed very cute doll with  -unfortunately-not-so-cute price tag attached.

Since we bought day pass tickets, we had the liberty to stop playing, grabbed our lunch on foodcourt 3 levels down, and back uplevel to play more. There were couple of restaurants and cafes on the same level as Miniapolis. We choose cafe Excelso and got ourselves -me and my husband- caffeine while our kids conquered tha playground. This cafe was packed with parents waited for their kids play on the playground. So we had to kept ordering so we don't get kick out ;-)

No children happy when its time to go home. Mine too. If following day still a holiday, I would be happy to let them play for a couple more hours, and I could also have more times to enjoy my afternoon coffee with my husband.
One last game before we headed home, Digiwall. Here, my kids in one team play another sibling, and hey, it was so much fun. Physical -as they had to touch all the light that on randomly and having their score announced at the end yet challenging. I do not mind playing it if they allow me.

  { Ready to climb the Digiwall }

Will we back? Hmmm...yes, not anytime soon but yes.

See you in another day tripper.

Apologize... And I'm back on business...

Dear readers,
I'm sorry to let you down for not post anything in the past 4 days,
not because I'm lazy or gave up, it's my internet connection that
giving up on me.
It's back to business now, fingers crossed, and I never feel so
eager to write like now.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 3 Challenge: Sweet and Sour Beef

After potato and pasta, I though doing Asia with rice would be nice. 

Taken from quick stir fry chapter on -still- Jamie's Ministry of food, this recipe originally using pork instead of beef. We don't eat pork, but I guess beef will do just great. And I never  cooked with pineapple before, so diced a can of pineapple was hard to me, not that I don't like doing it, I merely capable to dicing without putting some on my mouth. Bad bad chef!

Based on my experience, for 4 serves, 
you need:
* sea salt & freshly ground pepper
* 350g Jasmine Rice (original recipe using Basmati rice)
* 400g beef fillet, dice.
* 2 small onion, peel and dice.
* 2 red pepper, deseed and cut into dice.
* about 4cm of fresh root ginger, finely slice.
* 4 cloves of garlic, finely slice.
* a small bunch of fresh coriander, pick the leaves and put aside, chop the stalks.
* peanut oil (Jamie's used Groundnut oil, I could not find one in Jakarta. Sad sad sad..).
* 2 heaped teaspoon five spice powder
* 2 teaspoons cornflour
* 4-5 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tin of pineapple chunks (mine is about 450g)
* 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

The original recipe also use round lettuce and sesame seed, which I skipped, simply because I had no time to get it from my local supermarket.

How to:
* Cook rice as directed on its packaging
* Pre-heat a wok or large frying pan on high heat, once it's very hot add the oil and swirl it around.
* Add the beef and five spice powder, stir.
* Cook for a few minute until brown, move to a bowl, and wipe the wok with kitchen towel.
* Return the wok to the heat, when its rely hot add about 60ml of oil ad all chopped ingredients.
* Stir everything together for about 2 minutes, then stir the cornflour and soy sauce, let everything cook for 30-40seconds.
* Add the pineapple chunk with it's juice, beef and balsamic vinegar. Season with pepper and more soy sauce if you like (which I did)
* Cook for a few minutes so the sauce get thicker -gravy like.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 2 Challenge: Pasta with a creamy smoked (beef) bacon and pea sauce

We love pasta. Simple pasta like aglio olio was always a comforting food. But I want to go further from simple aglio olio or simple tomato based pasta.

So here, my first ever creamy pasta cooked in Jakarta ;-)

Taken from 'Quick Pasta' chapter of Jamie's Ministry of Food, I cooked gnocchi-shaped pasta with a creamy smoked (beef) bacon and pea sauce.

For serves 3-4, I need:
* 7 slices smoked beef bacon (original recipe using bacon or pancetta, we don't eat pancetta so we used beef bacon instead);
   finely slice
* a small bunch of fresh mint, pick the leaves and discard the stalk
* 100g Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
* Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
* 300g dried gnocchi-shaped pasta 
* Olive oil
* a knob of butter (me, 30g)
* 200g frozen peas
* 1.5 heaped dessertspoon creme fraiche
* 1/2 lemon

How to:
* Bring a large pan of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to the packet instruction.
* Get a large frying pan over a medium heat and add olive oil & butter, add the beef bacon to the pan, sprinkle with pepper and fry until golden and crisp.
* As soon as the beef bacon is golden, add the frozen peas and give the pan a good shake.
* After a minute or so, add chopped mint and creme fraiche to bacon and peas.
* Drain pasta in colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
* Add the pasta to the frying pan
* Squeeze the juice over the pasta
* When it's bubbling away, remove from the heat, add the grated Parmesan and give the pan a shake to mix it.
{If the sauce is to thick, add reserved cooking water to thin it out a bit before you add the Parmesan}

Serve with green salad 
(We just eat it with fresh rocket from our garden. Heaven!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 1 Challenge : Chicken , Leek and Mushroom Stroganoff

{-based on Jamie's book : Ministry of Food-}

Here I am on day 1 cooking challenge from my daughter, finding myself flipping hundred pages of few Jamie' book I owned. Back and forth between recipes and stocks inside my fridge and my kitchen cupboard, I'm delighted with what I could put together and turn into something simple and delicious:
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Stroganoff.

The book stated it will takes 19 minutes -no further info whether its include cleaning up kitchen mess and washing all pots and pans, or not-.

Here the recipe, for serves 2 you will need:
• 1 large leek
• a big handful of oyster mushroom
• 2 chicken breast, diced
• Olive oil a good lug of it (me, about 30 ml)
• a knob of butter (me, 20gram)
• a glass of white wine (I use none)
• a bunch of fresh parsley
• 285ml single cream (I use half sour cream and   half cream, based on supply left on my fridge)
• 1 lemon
• sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
• long grain or basmati rice to serve (we swap the rice with potato)

How to:
• Cook the rice as packaging instruction.
• Cut both ends off the leek, quarter lengthways, slice across thinly, then wash well under running water ( I learned to do the right thing with leek this time...)
• Slice the mushrooms
• Put a large frying pan on high heat and add the olive oil and butter.
• Add the leek to the pan (+ white wine), a small glass of water and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
• Let it bubble away for 5 minutes, covered loosely with foil.
• Finely chop the parsley.

• Remove the foil, add chicken, cream, mushroom and bit of parsley to the pan. Give a good stir, bring back to boil then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken cooked.
• Just before serving, cut your lemon in half and squezee the juice of one half into the stroganoff.
• Season to taste.

Needless to say that my stroganoff didn't last long.

See you on day 2 :-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jamie's Dinner - our version

We all love Jamie -whether its Cullum or Oliver ;-)
So often I would sit and flipping Jamie's cookbook for inspiration, my daughter set me a challenge. Why don't we cook dinner from Jamie Oliver recipes this week, and see how far we go.
And I said yes to her challenge, which echoed by hip-hip-hooray from my son -he is my greatest supporter when it's come to cook a different food or try new recipes, no matter how ugly it look when it served or how tasteless it could be sometimes.

So, its become like "Julie & Julia" (or was it Julia & Julie? Can't remember...) but I'm less ambitious of course. Julie cooked different recipes everyday from Julia Child book, nothing to be missed -and pushed herself too hard, in my view-.
Me? I just want to have fun with simple recipes. I wouldn't go near butterflying chicken, I'll let the expert on my local market do it for me.

The starting line been crossed last Sunday. I'll post my 1st dinner soon -if I have spare time- ; now I better start cooking dinner before its too late.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cute Cute Cute

Doesn't she look cute on those simple outfit?

Great inspiration for weekend

Celebrity Look: Anne Hathaway

Celebrity Look: Anne Hathaway by marymary91 featuring printed bags
Summer top

Acne draped top
$110 -

Sportmax Code denim jeans
138 GBP -

Prada white shoes
$340 -

Gucci printed bag
419 GBP -

Agent Ninetynine summer hat
$20 -

Chanel glass shade
175 GBP -

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

India in da hoz : Butter Chicken Curry

I always wants to cook Indian curry -not kind of curry using factory-made paste sold on supermarket, more like make from the scratch. Every time I looked on to recipes, it was always putting me off with those long list of ingredients need to prepare. Until yesterday, somehow I feel I got an encouragement from inside to steel my way preparing all those spices needed without missing any.

I choose to do butter chicken, the-not-spicy-at-all curry so my kids could eat it. What's the point cooking a meal that your family could not enjoy it anyway.

So, for 4 serves, here what you need:
* 60gr butter
* 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 onion
* 750gr chicken fillet, diced
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 2 tsp ground coriander
* 1 tsp ground ginger
* 3 tsp garam masala
* 1 1/3 cup tomato paste
* 1/3 cup light sour cream
* 1 1/2 tbs sugar
* 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
* handful of corriander leave
* nan bread or basmati rice to serve

How to:
* Melted butter on saucepan with medium heat, add oil, mixed, add onion and browned about 5minutes.
* Add chicken, stir until it half cooked.
* Add all spices, mix well.
* Add tomato paste, sugar and sour cream, mix well. Reduce heat to minimum, put the lid on and let it simmer for about 10minutes until chicken well cooked.
* Turn off the heat, add yogurt and corriander, stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
* Ready to serve.

{recipe from Real Living Magazine - Aust, April edition}

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It was not the greatest week on my life

{pictures of Little Miss Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves - Little Miss Series}

Yes, last week was not the greatest week on my life. I had to deal with internet breakdown, electricity breakdown, server breakdown and yet my car collided with super silly bikers that drive me mad.

The first three afternoon I had to face my internet connection breaking up with me on working hours, wasted our time -I guess this is the downside having business dependent on internet-; calling the customer service did not help either, they gave me -not-so-soothing and very standard answer like: 

*we will check with our field man about what happen (and I rang them after service was down for almost 2 hours, they apparently had no clue)
*when service back to normal, we will let you know (hey, what is the point if you ring me after service resume back?)
*we promise we will get your internet back on normal after 3 hours (the fact: more than 5 hours)

Mind you, we hooked to the company that called themselves the best internet provider in Indonesia. How if we choose the 2nd best? Will it better -or it might?

Then our car got hit by motorbike on one of mid-week afternoon.Right before our eyes. We saw it coming, we were on right position,turning right to our 'gang' and this super fast motorbike used our car as their brake, literally. The bang was so loud, I was worry at first if they died -seeing one of them flipped on our nose-. Consider they lucky for being alive, not so lucky had to face me furious -the only thing stop me for punch their faces is my son, he was inside the car- . What made me even more furious is they both had no driving license -I do-; yet they accused me for did not know how it's like to drive a motorbike. God knows that only in Jakarta if there is accident between car and motorbike, no mater what, car get blame often. So I proved myself -for what one newspaper mentioned few times- that most biker in Jakarta have no license, if there is a raid the could just pay at least Rp.10,000 to the officer(s) and off they go....

Then an electricity breakdown on working hours, when I was editing bunch of photographs need to send to customers, when I was smoothly surfing on the net. Only half an hour but enough to get me re-do my editing process almost from the scratch.

Is that it?

Server 'meltdown' on Friday afternoon -again, downside for having a business relay on internet connection- ; I just hate to spend my weekend working on my computer just to make up for what I've been loosing during the week. 

Call me grumpy, I am grumpy for those whole thing.

It's not that I'm ungrateful -like one of my friend comment on my FB account, when I spilled the bean on my wall- ; I am grateful for my life, I am kind of an optimistic person, it just not a great week to face, can't a being such a grumpy-whingeing woman once in my life?

Hope you have a great week this week!

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