July 29, 2016

Fabulous Friday Flavour: Creamy Tomato Spaghetti topped with Pan-fried Coriander Chicken

Shock horror when I discovered that we had ran out of food to feed ourselves after a late errand run one evening. 

It was way past the kids’ usual dinner time, we have ran out of the home-made frozen meals which I usually would have cooked in advance for the kids and I was not up for Silver Bullet’s idea of ordering snacks to tide us over for dinner.

It was not an ideal situation as not only was there almost nothing left to cook at home (or so I thought!), I was also mindful that I did not want to keep the kids waiting  too long while I whipped up something that could take a while.

But! I had plain, boiled spaghetti kept in the fridge from the day before and scouring further, I found a can of tomato puree, coriander powder, fresh frozen slices of chicken breasts and a variety of cheeses in the fridge. We also have a pot of fresh basil leaves which we are growing at home.

That was that. And I ended up with a new home-cooked meal recipe which was creamy, hearty and satisfying.

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This has been a big surprise to me as I was initially skeptical that the kids would even eat it given their general dislike for anything tomato-based. But I was delighted that they gave it a go, liked it – no LOVED it, finished everything off their plate (sauce and all!), asked for more and then again several days later. 

For a mother, that is the best compliment ever. And to think that I thought there was nothing to cook! This one is a definite keeper. Enjoy.

 

Creamy Tomato Spaghetti topped with Pan-fried Coriander Chicken
Serves 4
Creamy, hearty and satisfying one-plate meal for both adults and kids.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
For the chicken
  1. 200-300 grams chicken breasts, sliced
  2. 2 tspn coriander powder
  3. 1 clove garlic
  4. Half tspn rosemary
  5. 2-3 drops of Worcestershire sauce
  6. A good dose of black pepper
  7. Pinch of salt
For the sauce
  1. 4 pieces of thinly sliced chicken deli
  2. 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. Half a cube of chicken bouillon
  5. 1 small can of tomato puree
  6. 2-3 tbsp light cream cheese
  7. A handful of grated cheese (I used old gouda)
  8. Half a cup fresh skimmed milk
  9. 5-6 basil leaves chopped
  10. Some water
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Half a packed spaghetti noodles
  13. 4 tbsp cooking butter to fry the chicken
Instructions
  1. Cook half a packed spaghetti noodles per instructions on pack. Set aside.
For the chicken
  1. Defrost chicken. Rub garlic, coriander powder and rosemary onto the chicken
  2. Add seasoning and pan-fry in cooking butter till browned
  3. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside once cooked
For the sauce
  1. Use the remaining oil from the chicken to saute onions and garlic
  2. Add in sliced chicken deli and chicken stock. Stir well.
  3. Add tomato puree and mix well. When the sauce gets a little bubbly, mix in the cream and grated cheese
  4. Add milk and mix well. If it gets too thick, add some water
  5. Add chopped basil leaves and boil for about 5-8 minutes
  6. Mix in the spaghetti noodles and stir well
  7. Top with additional basil leaves for garnish
Notes
  1. Best eaten when sauce is freshly made. The use of chicken deli adds flavour to the sauce while milk is optional as I used it mostly to thin the sauce but without diluting the creamy flavour.
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/

 

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July 28, 2016

Fun Fact: On Saturn

Category: Random

Here’s a very interesting information I got from my Facebook feed not too long ago:

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Source: Facebook Newsfeed

Isn’t that just super-dooper amazing! I almost wish Saturn is THAT close to Earth. My sky gazing nights would be much more interesting that way.

Unfortunately, I can’t recall where the source was from for me to give due credit to the image. So,  if you happen to know please give me a shout out and I’ll include that into this post. 

 

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July 25, 2016

Selective Listening: Things Kids DO Hear

Category: Critter Stories

A conversation with Spud during lunch at home:

Spud: Mama, I heard what you said this morning and I know what you mean…

Me (a little puzzled): Uh? What did I say?

Spud: You said, “Oh boy!” And I know what you mean

Me:

Spud (giggling): Mama, this morning you said, “Oh boy! It’s half day!” I heard you.

Me (with a raised eyebrow and almost bursting into laughter): Oh dear! Did I say that?!

Spud: You did, Mama. This morning. You didn’t say it so loud, but I heard you. I absolutely know what you mean, Mama.

Me (bursting into laughter): Oh? What do you think I mean?

Spud: When you said, “Oh boy! It’s half day!” I know that’s because we finish school early…and then when we are home and you have lots to do and we play and then we fight. And then you have to scream. And you have to scream a lot of times. (she said all of that without a pause, in one continuous breath)

Me (laughing quite hard by now and thinking did I really mutter that): And why do you think I have to scream?

Spud: That’s because we didn’t listen!

Me: Uh-huh. Well, you see, if you both had listened, then I don’t have to repeat myself a dozen times before having to scream at all. And that’s all you have to do. Behave. Listen. Don’t fight.

Spud: I know, Mama.

Then and there I was thinking: Damn! Of all the things she hears!

God forbid for all those times I have had to repeat myself like a broken record because they choose not to hear no matter how gentle I said it and then I’d have to end up screaming anyway just to get their attention. And the one thing she heard was the stuff I utter under my breath!

At least we were laughing about it.

Note to self:

Keep your thoughts to yourself. But, on the hindsight, perhaps I should be muttering to myself more and often. They seem to be more attentive to what I say.   

 

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Image credit: Google Image
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July 24, 2016

Sunday Humour: How to Annoy your IT Guy

Category: Entertainment

Have you got your Java? Try this on your IT guy:

Top-30-Funniest-Quotes-Humorous

Source: Google Image

You know, I can just imagine that look of incredulity on the poor IT guy’s face . It would be priceless!

Go ahead, have a Java on me for the week! 

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July 22, 2016

Fabulous Friday Flavour: Roti Telur

For those wondering the meaning of the title of this post today, let me enlighten you:

Roti = Bread

Telur = Egg

Roti and Telur are Malay words and in Malay-English translation, we would say it by flipping the words around:  “Bread Egg” to Egg Bread. Or Eggy Bread. Because if said as “Bread Egg”, it would not make any sense.

This is the Asian version of French Toast. Or rather, more specifically, this is my Mom’s version of French Toast which I grew up with. And today, it happens to be her birthday as she turns to the grand age of 64 years young.

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Mom and Me

She’s this tiny little lady( (I got that from her) and as small as she is, she’s still healthy, fit, full of energy and very restless. She can’t sit still. It bugs her to do that (I got that restlessness from her as well). And when it comes to cooking, she’s the queen! (not quite me yet)

From complex to simple left-over meals, she has done it all. And mind you, still doing it.

She has fed us well all these years with mostly home-cooked meal. Our home was like a 24-hour restaurant: Tell  mom what we want to eat, and she’ll whip it up the next day or several days later; even if it’s back-breaking for her. When it comes to food, she’ll never deny us of our cravings. In fact, she fuelled it and I know that secretly, she enjoys it. 

Roti Telur is just one of those she used to make quite a bit using left-over white bread.It’s comfort food. It’s a nice, little piece of familiarity of home as my mom used to make this for us when we were kids. As I later discovered, it was one of her repertoires when she couldn’t figure out what to cook anymore.

I have that same conundrum too these days and like my mom, I have resorted to asking the kids what they would want to eat. (Now I know why she asked us what we want to eat almost every day!)

This is a simple and filling breakfast or lunch alternative to our rice staple where slices of white bread are soaked in beaten eggs before they are (sometimes deep) fried and then draining off the excess oil before consumption.

I love how those pieces of bread sizzle in the frying pan!  

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You know it’s right when they sizzle up!

These roti telurs taste best, believe it or not when dipped in chilli sauce. It is the only way to enjoy them although if you prefer to just devour them as they are, that is OK too. 

These days, I’m making them for my own kids.  They have been asking for more and that is always, always a good sign. Random requests like that make my heart swell! In time, I’ll introduce chilli sauce to them with Roti Telur when they can handle a little fire in their food. A must in my opinion.

They must have thought that dipping fried bread in chilli sauce is kind of weird, but hey! I”m kind of weird. Plus, my Asian roots reign: food just doesn’t taste as good without chillis! Weird or not, they have to learn. They just have to embrace the weirdness, because it would be the weird in them that would make them interesting beings. 

Let’s do the weird as we massacred the traditional French Toast fare as we toast to my Mom’s birthday today:

Roti Telor (Eggy Bread)
Serves 6
Comfort food from childhood
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 pieces of white bread, cut into 4 triangles
  2. 3-4 eggs
  3. 2 tbsp skimmed or evaporated milk (optional)
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Cut each piece of white bread into 4 squares of triangles
  2. Beat the eggs. Add the pinch of salt and milk. Mix well
  3. Heat oil in the frying pan
  4. Separately, soak individual pieces of bread into the beaten eggs. Make sure the bread soaks up the eggs well
  5. Fry them up till golden brown (but not too brown!)
  6. Repeat till either eggs or bread are used up
  7. Pat off the oil on each fried bread with paper towels so they won't be too oily
  8. Serve with chilli sauce
Notes
  1. The use of milk is optional, but I find that using it makes the bread a little fluffier. Goes down well when dipped with chilli sauce.
Grubbs n Critters http://grubbsncritters.com/
No fancy French style here, no sugar rush and nothing too over the top. It’s simple, it’s basic and it’s pure.

It’s food for the soul that would stand the test of time for many, many more years to come. It is the kind of food that makes memories so personal, sentimental and present. And like me, I want my kids to always have the best memories of home-cooked meals.

For now, the little critters are safe from the eat-Roti-Telur-with-Chilli-Sauce-Ordeal as it has been mighty difficult to find a darn good chilli sauce in Holland. I am, however, missing my chilli sauce fix and there is only one brand of chilli sauce I swear by. Unless I don’t have a choice, then there’s nothing else. 

Can someone please FedEx me a couple of chilli sauce bottles? Make sure it’s this one because this is the one chilli sauce which I really like. It’s one to die for.

Original-Linghams-Chilli-Sauce
My addiction

 

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