Chicken Nuggets

Who loves chicken nuggets? That’s somewhat a ‘Duh..’ question, isn’t it? Back in the days, there was only one McDonalds in our hometown. So, buying chicken nuggets, especially when we were around 8-10 year old, was kind of a big deal that time. Chicken nuggets are so good.. awesome actually… until we learned the truth about McDonald’s most popular chicken nuggets *sad face*

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So, why don’t we talk a little about the history of chicken nuggets? McDonald’s, surprisingly, did not invent chicken nuggets, as we all may have known for our whole life the most famous Chicken McNuggets. A food science professor at Cornell University, Robert C. Baker, invented the first chicken nuggets and started to publish his first chicken nuggets recipe in 1950s whereas McDonald’s perfected their Chicken McNuggets in 1979 and started selling them in 1980.

McDonald’s originally sold burgers but in 1977, the federal government’s first ever-dietary guidelines demanded Americans to eat less fat and red meat. As a result, McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, brainstormed for any solutions for loyal customers to keep returning. That was when the Chicken McNuggets were born. The McNuggets were first put on the menu in 15 Knoxville, Tenn., McDonald’s restaurants in March 1980 and they had made the highest sales records. Words spread from mouth to mouth and Chicken McNuggets have become everyone’s favorite snack to munch on until now.

For further reading, click on the link below to find out more about Mr. Baker J

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2012/12/robert_c_baker_the_man_who_invented_chicken_nuggets.html

Indeed, making your own chicken nuggets seems to require a lot of work, but it’s worth it! You know exactly what ingredients you put in your nuggets and you can be sure what you eat will truly nourish your body. I don’t want to say it’s healthier because it is still deep-fried; however, it’s the “healthier” version compared to McNuggets.  Besides, it’s as addicting as the retail ones, so why waste your money for those extra preservatives that come along with store-bought nuggets?

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Chicken Nugget

Serve: 18-20 pieces

Ingredients:

  1. 500 g of chicken breast, cut into smaller pieces
  2. 2 slices of bread
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 Tbs of Parmesan cheese
  5. ½ tsp of pepper
  6. ½ tsp of salt
  7. 2 Tbs butter – to coat the tray and parchment paper

For deep frying:

Panko, eggs, and flour.

Instruction:

  1. Soak the bread in room temperature milk for app. 5 minutes; squeeze excess milk.
  2. In food processor, add chicken breast, breads, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  3. Coat butter on a 10′x 12′x 2′ tray and cover with parchment paper.
  4. Coat butter on the parchment paper as well and pour mixture (2) into tray.
  5. Using a larger tray, pour some hot water to make a water bath and place the tray containing the mixture on top of the larger tray.
  6. Steam for approximately 30 – 45 minutes at 325 °F
  7. After 45 minutes, take out the smaller tray and let it cool.
  8. Once cooled, cut into a bit size pieces.
  9. 10.  Store in a fridge or proceed to the next step.

To deep fry:

  1. Coat the chicken pieces with flour, eggs, then Panko.
  2. Deep fry until golden brown.

P.S: The reason why I coat butter on both the tray and parchment paper is to make sure the parchment paper stick to the tray and it helps to prevent the chicken mixture from sticking to the parchment paper. One last thing to remember, make sure the larger tray is filled half way up with hot water to make sure the chicken cooks evenly.

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Rise of Guardians Cake Pops

Has anyone watched the ‘Rise of the Guardians’ yet? If you haven’t done so, please watch it! The movie will leave you in awe and take you on a magical ride back to your childhood. It was released in November 2012, so you should be able to find the DVD/Blu-ray by now. The movie has all your favorite childhood magical characters – Santa Claus,  Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sand Man (who comes at night to give you sweet dreams), and Jack Frost (not commonly known; he is the one who brings winter magic – snow, frost and everything you love about winter ). My favorite characters are Santa and Sandy.

I saw the trailer when I went to watch Madagascar 3 with my brothers. Everything about it – the story line, the characters and animation, the music – I mean, EVERYTHING about it excites me until today. It is so magical and wonderful. It’s a great family and kid-friendly movie and I highly recommend it. Dear parents, it is true that this movie doesn’t help explaining to children about the truth. I can imagine how children will start crying once you break the news. It’s difficult to burst their bubble and tell them the truth of these characters’ existence; however, let them watch, let their imagination run wild. When you think they are ready to accept the truth, it’s a great idea to explain the symbolic/cultural meaning behind all these characters to them.

When it comes to animation, I can’t stop talking because I’m very passionate about it. I want to bring two of my passions together, cooking/baking and animation. Furthermore, I’ve been eager to make cake pops for a long time because they seem really fun and they are perfect for any occasions. Since tomorrow is Easter, I’ll show you how to make cake pops inspired from ‘Rise of Guardians’. The eggs in the movie are so colorful and cute! So, I chose to decorate them according to the color of the eggs shown below.

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You can decorate them with whatever available in your pantry. Just be creative!

I first stumbled upon here when I was searching for a good cake pops recipe. She has some great post. Please pay her a visit :) I followed one of her recipes but I added/omitted some ingredients because we didn’t have all items available. Nonetheless, it is still a success! Hope you like them!

Rise of Guardians Cake Pops

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Make: ± 24

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tbs butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chocolate chips
  • Candy melts (Got them from Michaels)
  • Cake pop sticks/straws (Got mine here)

Instructions:

  1. Combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl and mix well
  2. Add milk, salt, and vanilla extract to (1) and mix
  3. Add flour and baking powder to (2). Add more flour to make it denser or add more milk to make the dough thinner
  4. Throw in chocolate chips. Combine well
  5. Roll dough into bite-size balls
  6. Let them sit in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes
  7. Melt candy melts in microwave for 30 secs, stir. Put it back in the microwave for another 30 sec, stir until smooth
  8. Dip just a tiny bit of the straw into the candy melts (7) then stick it to the pops
  9. Lastly, dip the pops into the candy melts and let it drip completely before you let it dry on a Styrofoam.

WARNING:

DO NOT ADD ANY FOOD COLORING TO THE CANDY MELTS!! Check back for what happened in the kitchen!

pops

Happy Easter!

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Indonesian Avocado Shake

Hi, It’s Mimi! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For those who will be drinking, please be safe. Don’t drive under influence and assign a designated driver, please! For the three of us, it’s just another day because we rarely drink.

Anyway, to follow the theme for St. Patrick’s Day, we would like to introduce an alcohol-free recipe using avocado. I love avocado. It is such an amazing fruit, prized for its versatility. It works wonder for your skin too! Just mash a ripe avocado and use it as DIY facial/body/hair mask. You can add it into your dish – in salad, sandwich, sushi roll, burrito, taco, guacamole, kebab, macaron (yes, macarons! The recipe is coming soon) to Cheesecake Factory avocado egg rolls. But wait.. something’s missing. Right, avocado drink! We’ll teach you this easy Indonesian- style avocado shake with chocolate syrup.

Avocado is very high in fat content compared to other fruit; however, it is the good kind of fat (but that doesn’t mean you should head out to grocery stores and pick up lots of avocados). Too much of a good thing is not always good. It’s better to balance it out and consume moderately.  We used to have avocado shakes when we went out to Restoran Garuda for family dinner. It is our favorite Padang and Malay restaurant. Let’s leave it to another post for a more detailed explanation about Padang & Malay food.

This drink is very easy to make; it is smooth, creamy and satisfying.

Indonesian Avocado Shake

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Serve: 2 glasses

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • Hershey Chocolate Sauce
  • 3-4 tsp condensed milk (more or less.. adjust to your own liking)
  • Milk
  • Ice cubes

Instruction:

1. Scoop out all the flesh

2. Throw everything into blender, except chocolate sauce. Blend away until smooth.

3. If it’s too thick, add more milk. If it’s too watery, add more avocados.

4. In your glass, swirl in chocolate sauce and pour avocado smoothie

5. Ready to serve :) You can add cherry on top or dust in a little bit of cocoa powder

If you have extra avocados, don’t throw them away! You can use it as facial mask as mentioned above. You can also freeze them up for later use. Simply cut them up, squeeze a little bit of lemon to prevent them from browning, and freeze.

Have fun and be safe!

Toodles~

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Filed under Dessert, Drinks, Indonesian

It’s a Pug’s Life!

Hi, I’m Mason.

I heard mommies have been posting blogs and they chose me to be the “spoke person”. It’s an honor to be here. Thanks mommies! I bet you’ve seen some of my pictures floating around the blog, and go ooh’s and ah’s ;)

I know, I know.. I’m quite a charmer, eh? I’ve been told countless times by random strangers.

So, for those ladies and gents out there who are curious about me, here’s my short bio:

I am a charming fawn pug, about 30~32 lbs (i know, I’m working on my diet right now! It’s hard when mommies make so many good noms everyday, so don’t judge me!) I was born in April 2010, on the 13th to be exact in sunny San Diego. My birthday is coming up soon! I had 2 other siblings that time until my current mom adopted me. I was so tiny… gasp!

2010

First picture at my new home :) me so tiny.. eek!

I felt very uncomfortable in my new home at first. Mommy M didn’t allow me to sleep with her that 1st night. She was so cruel! I couldn’t believe it.  I was scared, lonely and I cried.all.night.long. Then I saw mommy, dragged her tired bum towards me, looked kind of upset at around 3 or 4am. That time I knew I won over her! aha!  She let me out of my crate, picked me up and I’ve been sleeping by her side since :3

Oh, oh! I know some tricks! I know the basics and I can jump into my mommy’s arms and give her a hug on command, in which I think is pretty impressive. Right right? ;) Although, I have to admit that I’m very stubborn and get bored easily. Hey, it’s in the gene! However, I’m easily bribed and I’d do anything.. I mean, anything, for food.

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O.M.G. kill me. must. pose. for. yumyums…. -____-

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I’m pretty patient as you can see :)

Honestly, I inhale almost anything like a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I have no shame. Some of my favorite human foods are carrots, apples, oranges and bananas. I’ve also had countless tissue, fluff from my toys, hair band, etc. Thank God, I’m not into po*p. phew. I just don’t find that appetizing. I’ve heard that some of my fellow pugs have that kind of fetish. Not me. ugh. Momma M usually try to limit my intake, which I despise. Wanting to spoil me, momma J & F sneak some snacks whenever momma M is not home. At first, she didn’t realize it until she put me on a scale and saw that I have gained 5 lbs within 2 months! I.need.to.lose.weight.sigh.

oldman

Being a pug… is tiring..

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You can see my pot belly here and I sit like an old man… -___-

I’ve also gotten into so many troubles. I still remember these 2 particular troubles. I was bored at home because mommas went to the movies without me. I got my paws on Momma M’s glasses, chewed the heck out of it AND destroyed a trash bag in the kitchen. It was not pretty. Let’s just say, I learned my lesson.. the hard way….. because I didn’t get yum yums for 2 days!! How in the world can a pug live without yum yums? Luckily, mommas forgave me, thanks to my cuteness~ I tricked them with my big googly eyes! HA!

hmm.. is that a camera pointing at me? Quick! Act cute for cookies!!

Awww~

Overall, I’m a healthy happy pug living in San Diego. I love car rides. I love going to the park, the beach (even though I freak out when my paws touch the water), napping, sniffing, snorting, snoring, digging, making weird but cute noises, watching TV and sunbathing every morning.

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Oh the sun~

I know I have a few pounds to shed (goal 26~27lbs); but I think I look quite proportional because I’m a big pug according to strangers. I do have longer legs, I do look taller and bigger (NOT fatter) compared to other pugs. Can I use that excuse not to lose weight? hmm.. maybe not.

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I look like a loaf of bread…. T__T

Anyway, it’s dinner time and please email mommies if you have any questions about anything. They are glad to answer any questions you have.

happy

Toodles~

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Hipster Pug :)

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Oven-Baked Mushroom Risotto

Hi, it’s Frans! I am here to introduce another quick and easy recipe! You know us, busy students, we have limited time to arrange our meal plan for the week. One night, I took a little “me” time and watched a couple of videos from these silly blokes. I find them very entertaining and have been a loyal subscriber for quite a while now. Go check them out! I came across their risotto recipe that night and a light bulb went off.

So, here you go, oven-baked mushroom risotto! That’s right! You read it right! Oven-baked!

risotto

Ma, can I have some?

We know how time-consuming it can be to cook risotto. Having to add chicken stock ladle by ladle and constant stirring to prevent it from burning, seem a bit too much if you have limited time. So, we present you with this recipe to make your life easier yet you can still enjoy good meal on one of those days when you’re busy, low on budget or groceries :)  You can whip this up really quick.  It only takes about 20 minutes, and your lunch/dinner is served. Also, risotto is often considered as an unhealthy and complicated dish; however, we can turn the table by cutting out the cheese & bacon and bake it instead. To add more body to this dish, we decided to use two kinds of mushrooms instead of bacon. Mushrooms have been used as meat substitute for vegetarians.  Okay, lets end the chitchat and lets get cooking!

Adapted from sortedfood.com

Oven- Baked Mushroom Risotto
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Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Arborio / Risotto Rice
  • 1.6 L Chicken Stock
  • 2 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 large Portobello mushroom, 1/2 extra for garnish
  • 6 button mushrooms, 2 extra for garnish
  • 4 Tbs double cream
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 360°C.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan, sauté onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add thyme to the onion and garlic (2).
  4. Add risotto rice and coat each grain thoroughly with butter.
  5. Add white wine and chicken stock.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cover with lid.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. With a food processor, blend both Portobello and button mushrooms, followed by double cream.
  9. In another pan, melt butter and saute mushroom until cook (for garnish).
  10. Once the rice (7) is cooked, add the mushroom mixture (8) and mix.
  11.  Adjust salt amount to your liking
  12. Garnish with sautéed mushroom (9) and parsley.
  13. Serve.

Tips: Do not worry about the raw taste of the mushrooms since the heat from the pan and the rice will cook them.

Hope you like it!

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Mom’s Croquette

Hellooo, dear world! How have you been? It’s Jojo again! It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy with college and other stuff for the past few weeks. Sorry for the lack of post. A few days ago, I decided to make batches of croquettes because we were stuck at home due to heavy rain. The weather has been strange in SoCal. It’s raining cats and dogs one day and it’s sunny and warm the next day. oh, dear Mother nature, why are you so moody? The unpredictable weather just drains our energy, including Mason’s.

This is the 1st thing I saw when I woke up one day :)

Aww…. our precious little prince

So, I thought, “Why not make something that is fuss free to snack on while watching TV?”. This recipe is quite simple and a batch (or two..) of them can last us a few days. Anyway, croquette is one of my favorite dishes. My mom seldom makes this, but I really really adore it. So.. this is my chance to make as many as I want *evil laugh*

PS: Oh, double the recipe. Just do it. Just like cookies, you can’t just eat 1.

You can shape them into any shape you like. I like ovals because that’s how our mom used to make them. Once they are shaped, rolled in beaten eggs and covered with breadcrumbs, you can store them in the fridge and take them out whenever you’re ready to fry them. They are best consumed within 3-4 days. We haven’t tried freezing them though. If you get the chance to make this recipe and freeze them, please let us know :)  Great finger food for potlucks, family & friends gatherings,  Super Bowl, Thanksgiving, etc. Try it! You won’t be disappointed!

croq

Drooling yet? No? u-huh.. right..

Frans and I used to have problems boiling potatoes. They used to come out soggy and sticky until Mimi did some research. She found some useful tips from http://whatscookingamerica.net/potato.htm

Tips:

1. Always start boiling potato in cold water than hot water

2. Important: Do NOT cool potatoes in cold water after cooking. This is why potatoes turn soggy.

3. To make fluffier potatoes (for croquette/mashed potato), after they are done cooking, pour all water and cover pot with paper towels and place the lid on top. After ten minutes, the towels will absorb all the steam and your potatoes will be dry and fluffy.

Croquette

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Serve: makes 18

Ingredients

For croquettes:

  • 700 g Russet potatoes
  • 250 g Ground beef
  • 4 Tbs All purpose flour
  • 5 Tbs Condensed milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 or 2 egg/s
  • Bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes until tender (about 20 minutes). Let cool and peel. *Note: Read tips above*
  2. Put peeled potatoes back into the pot and mash ‘em. *Good time to work those muscles for the summer ;) *
  3. In another pan, stir-fry ground beef, add salt and pepper until cooked.
  4. Combine ground beef (3) to mashed potato (2).
  5. Over low heat, add flour and condensed milk to (4).
  6. When cooled, shape them as desired.
  7. Roll them into beaten egg and cover with breadcrumbs.
  8. Leave in fridge for approximately 2 hours to firm up before frying.
  9. Fry until golden brown.
  10. Serve with dipping sauce.

For dipping sauce:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Combine mayonnaise and condensed milk well, drizzle over croquettes.
  2. What are you waiting for? Dig in!

Enjoy!!

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Rum Balls

Hello, this is Frans again! Aah.. Love is in the air, isn’t it? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? For me personally, I think it is a day where you show your love and appreciation to your loved ones, not only your significant other, but also your family and friends. Jojo and I had been experimenting in the kitchen with different kind of recipes just for this special day. Since Valentine’s Day is kind of a special day, I thought it would be okay to let loose a little bit with, you know.., alcohol ;)

We finally decided to make this recipe because it is very simple and easy to whip up for that last minute gift. These rum balls are perfect gifts because they are easy to  make and delicious. Not only that, you can decorate them however you want. The possibility is endless. Oh, you can serve them frozen or at room temperature too, depends on what you like. Anyway, let’s get started!

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Ingredients

  • 250 grams graham crackers, crushed
  • 150 grams confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 30 ml rum (I used Kahlua)
  • 35 ml water
  • 120 grams butter, room temperature
  • 100 grams chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Form into balls and chill in the fridge for approximately 2 hours.
  3. Roll the rum balls into chocolate sprinkles, cocoa powder or even icing sugar.

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 How cute are they?

<3 Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day <3

 

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