30 October 2010

Easy Eats #12 - Corny Chicken Delight


Are you ready for another very easy to make and mouthwatering dish? Today I am presenting one of my inventions, the Corny Chicken Delight. As always, this recipe uses very few ingredients but the end result is totally delicious. More importantly, it is very simple to prepare.

Ingredients:
500 grams boneless chicken meat (you can use breast or thigh meat)
1 can corn, drained
Chopped green onion (separate the green and the white parts)
Chopped chili (not too much if you don't like it too spicy)
Dried tarragon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil and butter

Instructions:
1. Brown chicken on all sides with heated olive oil and butter (yes, combination of both!). Set aside when done.
2. In the same pan, add in white portion of the green onion, chili and flour. Stir until the flour is incorporated.
3. Add corn and browned chicken pieces and a bit of water.
4. Season with dried tarragon, salt and ground pepper.
5. Stir in the rest of the green onions right before serving.

Important tip you might want to know: chicken breast meat cooks faster than thigh meat so you need a little more browning time if you are using thigh meat for this dish.

There you have it. An easy and delectable dish perfect as rice topping on a cold and windy autumn day! Enjoy!

29 October 2010

Two For The Road

The past few days have been quite busy in our household. That was part of the reason why I wasn't able to update my blog as often (another part of the reason is that I am on "hibernation" mode). The point of all the busyness is that next week, Mr. B. and I shall be embarking in a long vacation trip and we are busy making all the bookings, contacting, arrangements, buying, packing and all the things humans do in preparation for a long trip. As excited as I am to be able to see part of the world I haven't seen before, I am also a little bit sad that D. is not coming with us. But D. said we should make the most out of this very rare opportunity.

Mr. B. decided many months ago to take a sabbatical from his career. He needed to "get away and recharge his batteries", as he put it. So we are some of his dear friends living in different parts of Europe, watch some shows, eat strange food, visit museums and take long walks in the parks.

I told Mr. B. that we should do this project and document interesting bits and pieces of our travel in my blog with journals, photos and videos. He said it is a good idea and I should be in charge of the project.

More importantly, I am hoping in my heart that through our travels, Mr. B. and I can discover more of ourselves; that beyond the photos and videos we will be taking, we will learn precious life lessons from different people in different places. It reminds me of a beautiful song written by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse called Two For The Road.


If you're feeling fancy free,
come wonder through the world with me.
And any place we chance to be will be a rendezvous.

Two for the road,
we'll travel through the years.
Collecting precious memories, selecting souvenirs,
and living life the way we please.

In the summertime the sun will shine.
In winter we will drink summer wine.
And any day that you are mine
will be a lovely day.

video

16 October 2010

Easy Eats #11 - Corn and Seafood Chowder

There is corn chowder, there is seafood chowder and there is clam chowder. But I choose to combine them all in one pot to create Corn and Seafood Chowder! This is so easy to make with simple ingredients and short preparation time. Most importantly, it's delicious!!

Ingredients:
1 can creamed corn
1/2 onion, diced
Assorted seafood tidbits (squid, shrimp, clam meat)
1 strip bacon, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 cup green peas and diced carrots
1/2 to 1 cup water or milk
Butter
Dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Melt butter in the pot, add bacon and saute until slightly brown.
2. Add onion and saute until slightly transparent.
3. Add in seafood. You can use squid rings, whole shrimps and clams with shell on if you like but I choose to use tidbits and remove meat from clams.
4. Pour in the whole can of creamed corn.
5. Add a little water or milk (if you like your chowder creamier) to achieve your desired consistency.
6. When boiling, add in green peas and carrots.
7. Add thyme then season with salt and pepper
8. Keep stirring to make sure the chowder doesn't burn.

This hearty chowder can be a meal by itself. Perfect for a chilly (or rainy) weekend. Enjoy!

11 October 2010

Bite Into It!

There was a time when humans need coins to make a phone call in public. When they need information, they go to the library to do some researches. When they need to buy anything, they go to the shop. That "time" was only about 10 humans years or so ago.

Now, it is difficult to imagine surviving without a computer. One can practically do anything with a simple machine and a connection - read, shop, connect with family and friends, research, make reservations, anything at all!

Mr. B. has been contemplating on getting a small notebook to bring with us in the upcoming holiday trip. When I questioned him the need to take that additional 2 kilogram baggage, he said he needed a place to put all the photos and videos we shall be taking; he also wanted to bring his entire catalogue of music (about 9000 songs) with him in case he gets lonely; and what if people email him?; he also needed to keep in touch with his friends in Facebook; or talk to his family with Skype; and what if we suddenly get lost in the big city?

"Mr. B., if we get lost, we ask other people in the street!!!" I said, quite annoyed.

"Oh... okay, you're correct with the last one. But think how much more convenient if we bring a tiny but powerful computer with us." he explained.

More than 10 years ago, when Mr. B. took a very long holiday trip, he took photos with a regular camera. He had the photos developed and lovingly pasted them in 3 different albums. No one ever seen those photos, not even himself because he had since misplaced them during house moving.

I guess it is the sign of times. There are no more excuses not to make reservations ahead of time, or not know about something or anything, or to be lose in a big city.

10 October 2010

Too Fat To Fit

"You need to buy some new winter clothes to wear for our upcoming holidays." I told Mr. B. today.

"I know that but nothing in the stores fits me!" he replied. "I tried looking but they are either too tight, too long or too loose!"

Despite having lost a total of 4 kilograms in the last 3 weeks due his new brisk walking regimen, Mr. B. still has a long way to go before he can fit into any of those nice outfits being advertise in store billboards.

"Everything in the rack has a tag that says 'slim fit'," Mr. B. said with indignation. "Don't they make anything for people who are not slim anymore?"

Indeed, humans are strange. They are obsessed with being thin that even the most indifferent among them like Mr. B. is affected by it.

"In case you can't find anything to wear, we'll just hug each other to keep us warm," I said.

03 October 2010

Easy Eats #10 - Seafood Risotto


Hello my dear readers! This week's Easy Eats feature is quite special, just because this is the first time Mr. B. and I use the Le Creuset cookware he got as a gift to prepare this wonderful meal. Because D. loves seafood, we decided make Seafood Risotto. While Mr. B. said he would need some time to get used to the cookware (in terms of controlling the heat), we nevertheless came up with something that was not so bad! Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
6 large shrimps
8 pieces of sliced squid
2 cups of clams
6-8 pieces of mussels
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
Thyme
Italian seasoning
Butter
Salt and Pepper
Optional - Parmesan cheese

Instruction:
1. Heat some butter in the pan until melted and bubbling.
2. Tip in the shrimps, clams and squid.
3. Cover and simmer until clams are open.
4. Remove seafood and set aside . Keep the juice from the seafood in the pan.
5. In the same pan, saute garlic and onion until transparent.
6. Tip in uncooked rice and 1 cup of water.
7. Keep stirring and adding water until rice is cooked, while seasoning with thyme, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. The rice should be creamy and wet. You may want to add more butter at this point.
8. Pour the seafood into the cooked rice and very carefully stir the mixture.
9. Arrange mussels on top of the rice.
10. Add a dash of freshly ground pepper and Parmesan cheese on top.
11. Cover for another 3 minutes before serving.

Easy isn't it? A great one dish meal for a lazy Sunday! I hope you enjoy this one!

01 October 2010

Good For The Soul


Today, Mr. B. made me a promise - that he would take me along with him on a really grand vacation to somewhere far and beautiful. He decided that we should "see the world" and not just stay home and sulk. If time allows, Mr. B. said we might even spend the New Year where they have light show and fireworks on a giant ferris wheel! To say that I was excited by the idea would be an understatement. You see, Mr. B. seldom took me along with him in his trips because I "occupy a lot of space", whatever that means.

"I wish we can bring everyone with us. Mr. B.," I told him.

"I know. It would be really great, wouldn't it?" he answered. "We can take photos and still share our trip with them."

"Or we can make video blogs!!" I said excitedly. "We can make show them all the places we go to and post them so they can watch!"

"That's a good idea," Mr. B. replied. " We should start learning how to use the camera then."

As Mr. B. started checking the net for information, I thought about how good a vacation would be for him. He has been through a lot and definitely deserves to go somewhere to clear up his head, make new discoveries and see the world in a broader perspective. I know it will be good for his soul.

"Mr. B.?"

"Yes?"

"Should I pack winter clothes?"

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