“Man Pleasing Chicken” pleases my man!

AGES ago, well it feels like it but maybe it was only a few months ago ūüėČ ¬†Tones and I joined Pinterest and boy oh boy it’s fun… my first experience of being on there got me stuck for over 3 hours!!!

Anyway, I’ve learned to limit my visits now to either once a week or maybe even once every fortnight (if I get on there every day, I would waste so much time!!). ¬†But get this… ¬†some smart people in the Netherlands have now created WP Pinner (it’s currently in beta) so you can monitor and schedule all your Pinterest activity via WordPress! ¬†You can go sign up for an account here.

Here’s their video to find out more…

Now, why did I mention Pinterest and WP Pinner? ¬†Because Tones told me about both of those and Pinterest is where I saw the picture (and recipe) for “Man Pleasing Chicken”. ¬†You’d pin it too when you see this right?

I immediately salivated, pinned it but we didn’t actually cook it until the other day, well Tony did. ¬†He LOVED it and now he’s been sharing the recipe with EVERYBODY he talks to!! ¬†I’m not kidding. ¬†He’s well pleased! ¬†If you click the picture it will take you to the original recipe ūüôā

and… here it is if you just want the link straight away…¬†http://www.wittyinthecity.com/2011/08/man-pleasing-chicken/

The taste is somewhat familiar to me.. kind of tastes like the sauce you put on lechon! ¬†Nevertheless, easy peasy and very tasty! ¬†It was fantastic eating it after our Krav Maga session, albeit midnight – we prepared it before we left, cooked it after we got back ūüôā ¬†It’s a great dish to prepare when you don’t have much time! ¬†And it tastes just as good reheated for next day left overs!

Here’s our picture, not as delicious looking as the Pinterest photo but posting it as proof that we did cook it!!

See you next time!

xox

Have a great weekend! ¬†ūüėÄ

Tones & Joy

PS – speaking of left overs.. the lamb sambal from last night tasted really good today!!! ¬†I guess it’s like Bolognese sauce… tastes better the next day!

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A Lazy Night In: Great British Menu, Yumea & Banana Bread

We’re watching Great British Menu – one of our favourite shows where Britain’s best chefs in each region compete against each other, all to get into the final to cook a dish at the banquet (only 4 courses: Starter, Fish, Main, Pudding but 8 regions). ¬†This year’s banquet will be to cook for the Olympians for London 2012.

It’s awesome because we get to watch how they source their produce (foraging, breeding animals specifically for that dish, growing own kind of vegetables) and the use of different ingredients like sea buckthorn, cuckoo flower and rosehips “picked at altitude” (literally).

What’s the most interesting is the molecular gastronomy eg. making edible sand, edible snow, using liquid nitrogen, dry ice and setting sorbet on fire – WOW – They got SKILLS!

The best part is that we get to see 1-2 Michelin starred chefs, up and coming Michelin star chefs and chefs from UK’s top 5 / Europe’s top 5 restaurants, in their element. ¬†It’s just fun to watch – from the concept and inspiration, the design of the dish, the sourcing of the produce through to the execution and what other chefs think of it as well as the food critics. ¬†If we see dishes we really love the look and sound of, or chefs we really like, we put it on our mental wish list for all the restaurants we want to eat at ūüôā

And why have we decided to shut down and just watch TV? ¬†Because both of us have been working incredibly hard today, so much so, that we ordered Take Away ¬†(Home Delivery) from our favourite local Chinese place Yumea. ¬†It’s cheap and cheerful but still very enjoyable food.

Here’s what we ate:

Deep Fried Crispy Shredded Chilli Beef – this one’s my favourite. ¬†It’s crunchy beef and has that sweet and sour flavour with pickled carrots and chilli. ¬†YUM – a taste of China

Here it is again ūüėČ

Kai Ka-Proa – this one didn’t have much taste compared to the rest, very mild and unfortunately, the chicken was a bit¬†gelatinous (tasted like jelly) – Tones said it might be that they put bicarbonate soda on it to make it softer and left it for too long, or put too much. ¬†It’s chicken¬†saut√©ed¬†with basil and chilli – a taste of Thai.

Lamb with Sambal Sauce – this one was another new dish we ordered to try. ¬†Tones decided to order 2 of the stinkiest things to cook (Lamb and Sambal Sauce) and put them together. ¬†His words, “at least we don’t have to cook it in the house”. ¬†The result? ¬†Pretty average. ¬†We probably won’t be ordering it again. ¬†Think the Sambal will be alright with chicken but it didn’t quite taste right with the lamb – this was our taste of Malaysia.

Monks Vegetables – another favourite because it had all my favourite vegetables in it (mushroom, corn,¬†broccoli, carrot, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts) and tofu. ¬†I have to say, if I only had these vegetables with rice, I’d be pretty happy to be a Monk. ¬†Lucky for them they get all sorts of different (and yummy) vegetable / vegetarian dishes. ¬†I got some insight into this when I did a 3 day silent retreat at the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong. ¬†The food was pretty good and you get to appreciate it because you can’t talk ¬†ūüėõ

And now, as we watch “Two Greedy Italians… still hungry”, we are going to munch down on some Banana Bread (baked yesterday) and we’re using the left over cream cheese icing (made for the coffee cake) to spread on it. ¬†DELICIOUS!!

Here’s a picture of the Banana Bread

and here’s the recipe ūüôā

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bananabread_85720

Enjoy!

Joy & Tones

We have Gruntled Customers?

It’s a random one I know… ¬†BUT we’ve started to sell things on eBay outside of the things we have in our home (you know old clothes, used books, CD’s and DVD’s) and we started selling toys ūüôā

But that’s another story.

What made me write that title was because we’ve¬†focused¬†a lot on great customer service and so far so good! ¬†This focus also led me to think of the possibility of having “disgruntled customers” and then my mind wandered…

NOW, we all know that word “disgruntled” and usually, when there is a “dis” at the front of the word, it means the opposite of that word eg. disassociate, disrespect, discontent, dissatisfied, displeased, disorganised – you get the drift.

SO I thought.. if disgruntled means unhappy then surely gruntled would mean happy and content? What a strange word, gruntled, makes people sound like pigs or boars, maybe piglets?  How would you use it in a sentence?

“We have gruntled customers.”

“We have a gruntling customer.”

“Our customer gruntled…. happily??”

None of it sounds right… so I looked it up and low and behold.. the word disgruntled is an “Orphaned Negative”!!!

The English language is full of oddities and exceptions to rules and this one defies not just the rules of the English language, it defies the laws of the universe!!

It turns out that an Orphaned Negative doesn’t have a positive!! It’s a word that exists on its own without a partner, without its counterpart… How could that be? ¬†It’s unloved… poor word, bless it’s little cotton socks, it must be lonely…

NO WONDER it’s Disgruntled!!! I would be too if my positive was taken away from me!!

Other than empathy, there’s not much I can do for the word unless I start a wave of people making popular use of the word gruntled… maybe instead of “chuckles” I’ll just write “gruntles”.

I don’t know why but it just makes me think of a fat kid snorting… LOL *gruntles*

Well, there’s no other point to this blog other than to share this¬†discovery with you!

Now it’s time for my mind to wander back to focusing on making sure we have gruntled customers, gruntling our praises!

Krav Maga: Our first lesson

We went to our very first Krav Maga lesson today and now we’re all pumped up and practising our newly learnt skills. ¬†It was fun!

My brother who does martial arts told me that I’d have fun and that if there was anything to be scared of, it would be the warm up. ¬†He was right! ¬†Let’s just say that yoga helps with my flexibility but in no way does it help me do sit ups and push ups!! ¬†Granted, I was able to do more than 5 of each whereas normally I’d probably be able to do 1 or 2 but he asked us to do these things for between 30 seconds and 1 min (depending on what the exercise was) and it felt like forever. ¬†5 push ups only got me through the first 10 seconds so I’m going to have to work on this a lot if I want to survive future classes!!

So now for the interesting part – what did we learn?

WELL, I am totally impressed.  In 2 hours we learned how to block punches, get out of a bear hug from behind and a technique to deal with someone trying to tackle you from the front.  We also learned how to break arms, knees and how to kick people in the ding ding!

You might say… when is anybody ever going to do any of that to a girl 5 feet high? ¬†Unfortunately, London youth have stooped to this low and I have experienced it first hand so, I know they definitely would just for fun… and to those that would… they definitely do need a few kicks in the nuts so I’m going to practice those when I get the chance! ¬†Tony might just have to go and get a “Hector Protector” (Tony’s slang for Groin Guard).

For anyone that’s scared to go like I was, there’s nothing to be scared of at all. ¬†It’s fun and you do learn very valuable techniques which if practised enough times will become automatic and life saving.

The only thing I’d have to warn you about is that the lesson is for 2 hours!! We didn’t finish until 9.30pm and didn’t get home until 11pm… we have just started cooking dinner! ¬†This is a midnight meal, not a midnight snack. ¬†We both did our 2.5 hrs yoga + walk today too which we are extremely grateful for because it allowed us to have the energy to do the 2 hour session of Krav Maga tonight.

I don’t know if the teacher was joking or not (I don’t think he was) but he told us we’d learn how to eye gouge next week (that’s for us little people because our punches would be less effective). ¬†Awesome… I’ve released the monster! ¬†Watch out any attacker, my fingers are coming for your eye balls!

Alright, that’s enough from this excited little monster. ¬†Time to eat our midnight meal now and go to bed!!

 

See you again soon!

Joy & Tones

Your body is important, what are you putting into it?

My excitement for food has left me today and so I rant…

Having gone through a major health crisis when I was younger (mentioned in one of my earlier blogs) I was lucky to have found out a LOT earlier in life that I had a choice and the choice was to actually change my behaviour and eating habits OR live a pain-filled life of physical suffering.

Believe it or not, I didn’t think I was physically suffering back then. ¬†I thought that waking up with back aches every day, stiffness and cracking in my joints were normal. ¬†I thought EVERYBODY felt the same way and didn’t complain about it (just like me) and that it was all just a sign of getting old (I was 18).

I was also very sickly, I’d always get a cold, bronchitis or some other form of side effect from taking so many antibiotics and then I’d have to take some different prescription medications to combat the side effects I’d gotten from the first lot of medications. ¬†I thought, the illnesses were just stress related and the fact that I went out all the time instead of sleeping (turns out, that was just a part of it).

I wasn’t eating healthily but that didn’t stop me because it didn’t even click that the lethargy and the illnesses were actually related to the food I was eating and the pills I was taking.

It just didn’t occur to me that lack of nutrients in my food meant I couldn’t heal from my illnesses and that the pills I was taking weren’t just designed to kill the bugs that had invaded my body, they were designed to kill everything (even what good stuff I had left). ¬†It says it in the name… ¬†biotic means life (or living organisms) and anti means opposed to. ¬†Antibiotics are against life and are¬†indiscriminate.

One of the Laws of the Universe is that you reap what you sow Рso what seeds are you planting now in terms of your health?

When you’re young, your body is mobile, efficient, flexible and EXTREMELY good at recovering from breaks, cuts, bruises AND…. toxins that you put into it so you don’t notice straight away the effects of the toxins but what does that mean for when you’re older?

When you’re 16-21 (sometimes younger) you FEEL and THINK that you’re invincible!! You’re at the peak of your game… you’re a friggin’ Legend! ¬†I mean how many of us have said this at least 100 times in our youth… “Watch me eat 10 meat pies in 10 minutes?? PHOAR!!! Hell Yeah!! AND LOOK!! I still have a 6 pack… awesome!!!”

Or, what about “Yeah… I could drink you under the table and come back tomorrow and do it all over again!” ¬†or…. “pfft.. sunscreen is for pussies!!”

I’m sure we’ve all done it and when we get older what happens? ¬†Diabetes, big round belly, bingo wings, sun spots, wrinkles, aches, pains, strokes, heart attacks, cancer and wistful memories of our glory days.

I have heard so many people say (including yours truly), “Yeah, I know I’ll feel it when I’m older”… but because I didn’t feel it then, I kept doing it anyway… ¬† Don’t make the same mistake!! Watch what you eat and how it affects you right now. ¬†And if you have already made those mistakes, it’s time to make a change, it’s never too late to change. ¬†What you sow now, you will reap later!

It’s pretty simple, pour really crap quality petrol into your car for any length of time and you’ll be guaranteed it’ll be spluttering, and gurgling with the scum that’s been pushing around the engine and then.. it’ll cark it. ¬†If you’d used the good stuff, that engine would still be rocking and rolling for YEARS to come. ¬†If you’d used good stuff and then put in crap petrol one day.. you will immediately hear and feel the difference in performance of your car and it’s EXACTLY THE SAME with our bodies!

Our bodies ARE MACHINES, beautiful, efficient, self-preserving, mobile machines and the only ones we have at that. ¬†Break it… and you won’t get another one, and the older you get, the more toxins it receives, the harder it is to recover so why not look after your body from beginning to end?

It’s your life! You only have one, why not live it feeling great??

Why did I post this today instead of food or yoga? ¬†Because we missed yoga.. don’t feel that great and I just had to get it off my chest. ¬†It’s my rant for the day – thanks for listening ūüôā

Crisis Evaded, I LOVE My Geek and Sang Choy Bow

Guess what? ¬†I’m fully operational on my computer again!

That’s right – my geek Tony fixed it (YAY!) AND all the work done was not lost. ¬†Thank God for me, he knows how to remove the hard drive and access it with another computer. ¬†I love My Geek.

SO – what was it that caused the computer to “die”? ¬†It was a virus, a really bad one, changed the date on the computer to the year 13500 or something so then nothing would work because the date was confusing it on start up.

I was afraid I’d have to blog about the loss of our beloved laptop – it’s Tony’s baby passed onto me and we’ve been looking after it for AGES, turns out, it’s turning 10 years old this year! ¬†It’s such a good laptop – the keys are comfortable, it works quickly and efficiently and I never complain when I’m working on it. ¬†It’s been with him longer than I have ūüôā

So what happened today? ¬†Not much really! ¬†We got up and had brunch (I’ll show you pictures of this tomorrow!), Tones had his weekly chat with his folks over Skype, we did some groceries and went to an evening yoga session, followed by a “healthier” and WAY yummier dinner than yesterday’s. ¬†Overall, a really nice lazy Sunday.

Want to see what was for dinner? ¬†Well, the title will says it all… it was Sang Choy Bow. ¬†After yesterday’s bout of oil which we continued to process through the night and today, we didn’t really feel like eating any more spring rolls¬†or anything fried for that matter.

SO we decided to turn the spring roll filling left over from last night into Sang Choy Bow instead.

We added some sesame oil, more soy sauce and also some Chinese dried mushrooms and pepper to the mix and left it to marinate throughout the day.  Then cooked it in a hot wok and wrapped it in lettuce leaves.

The result… OMG it was delicious! ¬†We ate so much! ¬†Granted it was right after 2.5 hours exercise and we were both starving (apparently you burn anywhere between 600-1000 calories in that hot room) but even I inhaled the food today!

We highly recommend you make Sang Choy Bow this way – you’ll LOVE it! ¬†So the recipe is in my Spring Roll blog and you add Chinese dried mushrooms, more soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper. ¬†Sorry there aren’t any measurements, you’re just going to have to listen to your gut with this one and it’ll thank you for it ūüėČ

Not a long one today ūüôā ¬†We’re having a lazy Sunday remember? ¬†Think we’ll go watch a movie now… Tony has picked “True Grit” ūüôā

Actually, he gave me a choice of 4 movies, 3 of which were documentaries! ¬†That’s one way to get someone to think they had choice ūüėČ

See you again soon!

Joy & Tones

xox

Spring Rolls, a Deep Fryer and Sugalumps

I’ve got an oil coma… can you get one of those? ¬†We’ve eaten too much oil… blech! C’est horrible! And now everything’s going in slow motion in my mind including the song that’s been stuck in my head going around and around for the last WEEK!

Yup… every morning I wake up, my mind starts singing this…. it’s alright, it makes me laugh but it plays so often in my head until I sing it out loud, that it’s getting kinda disturbing. ¬†What song do you ask? ¬†This one…

HA! ¬†Now that you’ve watched it, it can stay in your head instead of mine… “all the ladies they want, a taste of my sugalumps, sweet sugalumps yeah!”

It’s kind of ironic really, me, the sugar intolerant person constantly singing that song, speaking of which, I was VERY good to myself today and ate ZERO cake (maybe a few crumbs) and Tony… well, there’s only half a cake left – he did a great job eating it!

I woke up with a huge back ache and a cough today, definitely a sign of eating too much sugar so I promised myself not to eat any more sugar otherwise I’d feel it in yoga and it paid off, I went through the whole class OK! Yay! ¬†It was super humid in there this afternoon but the sweat kept me cool ¬†AND no more cough!

So a few things happened today. ¬†First of all, my sister had her 21st birthday party in Australia and I was here in London and had to Skype (which was way crap, the video froze and I couldn’t hear them properly AT ALL) and in the end just spoke to her on the phone – at least I could be there even if it was only for a few minutes. ¬†I also got to Skype with my brother and at least got to see the family all well and happy.

And the other big news for the day is that Tones bought a DEEP FRYER! ¬†Can you believe it? ¬†Two yogis, loving the sweat and the exercise bought a deep fryer! ¬†It’s the first one we’ve ever had and we used it straight away by making spring rolls!!! ¬†In all honesty, I feel blech! ¬†Tony kept eating the spring rolls like they were going out of fashion, for every two I ate, he had six. ¬†I had to ask him to slow down ’cause I wasn’t getting my fair share! ¬†It’s not my fault my mouth is smaller and I chew rather than inhale my food!

The truth? ¬†My two to his six was enough. ¬†Smelling the oil in the vat actually made me feel sick… the house just smells like oil, I don’t even know if the heaviness in my head is because of all the oil in my stomach from eating the spring rolls or from breathing in the fumes. ¬†Man, I can’t wait to see what I sweat out in yoga tomorrow… gross!

Anyway.. here it is… his new pride and joy – a 3L deep fryer complete with timer and temperature gauge:

OK so the spring rolls…. EVERYONE’s got a different recipe for these suckers don’t they? ¬†I remember the ones I grew up with had carrots in them. ¬†The ones Tony’s mum made had Chinese dried mushrooms in them and I remember having some that had rice vermicelli and I loved these ones I used to buy at Edgecliffe Station which had purely vegetables in them and a lot of pepper.

The ones we had today had the following:

550g minced pork,¬†32 King Prawns (supposed to be 500g prawns but I think we put in more than that),¬†1 yellow pepper,¬†8 shallots,¬†125g mushrooms (white),¬†ginger,¬†water chestnuts,¬†1/2 Chinese cabbage,¬†sherry,¬†soy sauce,¬†sugar,¬†salt. ¬†It’s supposed to make 25 spring rolls but we made 25, ate 25 and still have half the filling left over!! ¬†I think they must’ve estimated it to make those giant spring rolls!!

Here they are in the deep fryer…

We had to experiment since this was the very first time either of us had used a deep fryer. ¬†The first lot I think we put them in at 130’C for 10 mins.. they absorbed oil and cooked pale so we had to cook them for a little longer for colour.. they turned out WAY oily. ¬†The next lot we put in at 150’C for 8 mins and they came out better and not as oily. ¬†The last lot we put in for 150’C for 10 mins, too oily.

Here’s a question – do you wrap the spring rolls with filling raw? OR do you cook the filling first and then wrap the spring rolls and fry them? ¬†We always wrapped them raw at home but the recipe we followed said you had to cook the filling first (we didn’t follow the recipe and wrapped them raw).

The verdict? ¬†I don’t know why Tony doesn’t gain any weight….. he LOVED them and gobbled them up! ¬†They were quite tasty, I just couldn’t get over the oil…. how do you get the oil out??? ¬†We left them to drain for a while AND we put them on absorbent towels (3) and STILL they were super oily.

We think that putting Chinese dried mushrooms would make them tastier so we’re going to add that to the mix tomorrow.

WELL…. until next time…

“My sugalumps are two of a kind, sweet and white and highly refined, honeys try all kind of tomfoolery, to steal a feel of my family jewellery. ¬†My candy balls cause a¬†kerfuffle. ¬†The ladies, they hustle to ruffle my truffle. ¬†If you party with the party prince, you get two complimentary after dinner mints…” ¬† We ‚̧ Flight of the Conchords!

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