28 April 2014

When I have to cook, I often prefer to make one-dish meals –ones with meat and veggies all in.  This is one of my favorite recipes.  Easy to prepare.  You don’t have to exactly follow the recipe as far as ingredients go and you can throw in additional ones or take out others based on your own personal preferences.  The only thing is that you have to stand there and keep stirring for as long as it takes the rice to become tender.  That said, it was not that long.  It took about 20 minutes or so tonight.

I normally make this with coriander –lots of it, –but I could not get fresh coriander today.  It still tasted good, but the fragrance that coriander brings to the dish is something else.  (If I can have my way, I would have coriander with everything!)  I also decided to add in some zucchini for some greens.  Would have preferred some celery, but like coriander, I was out.  (Are you getting the picture now?  I tend to cook with whatever’s on hand and is too lazy to shop to make the ‘perfect’ recipe.)

Beef-and-Pumpkin-Risotto-(1)

Dinner tonight – check.
School lunch for the kids tomorrow – check.

BEEF AND PUMPKIN RISOTTO

Ingredients:
60g butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
500 g minced beef
2 cups rice
1 cup white wine
1 liter chicken stock
750 g pumpkin, cut into cubes
1 zucchini, cut into cubes
250 g mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped coriander

  1. 1) Heat butter and oil in large heavy-based pan, add onion and garlic, stir-fry over medium heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. 2) Add minced beef and stir-fry over high heat for 4 minutes or until well-browned and all liquid has evaporated.  Use a fork to break up lumps in the minced beef as it cooks.
  3. 3) Add rice, stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add wine, bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer, stir continuously for 2 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Add a quarter of the stock and stir continuously for 2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. 4)  Continue adding stock, a quarter at a time, stirring in the pumpkin, zucchini, and mushroom after half the stock has been added.  Continue until all liquid has been added and rice is tender.
  5. 5) Remove from heat, stir in cheese and coriander; serve immediately.
Prep time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Servings:  6

(Recipe from Tasty Mince Recipes, modified)
 
 

24 April 2014

Hey There, Little Guy!



While the kids were busy hunting for Easter eggs, I was ooh-ing and aah-ing over the lilies in the pond.  When the kids were done counting their eggs, they were trying to look for tadpoles in the pond.  I was crouched down helping them look when we spotted this baby frog on the lily pad.

Little-frog-(1)

Every time I tried to inch closer for a better shot, it would hop away.  This was the best I could do.   There were bigger, full-grown frogs that I could see in the other pond, but I wasn’t brave enough to go near those.

Linking up with --

23 April 2014

Easter Egg Hunt



The kids had a little Easter egg hunt after church on Sunday.  They had fun dyeing some eggs before the hunt, but as we were waiting for those eggs to dry, we hid some plastic eggs outside and let them hunt for those instead.  They didn’t care what kind of eggs they were hunting for.  The fun was in the hunting.


EEH-(2)

EEH-(1)

EEH-(3)


17 April 2014

Easy Dinner | Butter Chicken



I haven’t made this in a long time.  Mainly because every time I'd thought to make this for a meal, I’d forgotten that I have to marinate the chicken overnight first.   This time, though, I decided that marinating the chicken for a few hours (instead of overnight) might work as well.  I marinated the chicken for four hours and let me tell you, it works just fine.

Butter-chicken-(1)

I love this recipe for how easy it is to make and for how very yummy it is. 

BUTTER CHICKEN
Ingredients:
4 pcs boneless chicken breasts, cubed
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cardamom
1 bunch chopped coriander
1/2 lemon, juiced
-----
1 whole onion, diced
1/4 cups butter
1 can (14.5 oz can) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz can) diced tomatoes
1 pint whipping cream
1 bunch chopped coriander
2 cups rice

1) Combine first 8 ingredients and marinate overnight (preferably, but even 4 hours will do).
2) Saute the onion in the butter until soft.
3) Add marinated chicken and cook for around 10 minutes. Pour in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
4) Cook for 30 minutes on medium-low heat with lid on.
5) Add the whipping cream and coriander just before serving over rice.

Do give this a try; you won’t regret it, I promise!

16 April 2014

Now



People don't realize that now is all there ever is;
there is no past or future
except as memory or anticipation in your mind.
~ Eckhart Tolle

Lily-(1)

It would be great to be able to find that fine balance between living fully in the now and being sensible enough to know that what we do now could affect our lives in the future.

11 April 2014

A Wow Kind of Day



Every once in a while, the stars align, and everything seems to be just right.  The day goes smoothly, from the time the children wake up, to the time they come home from school and get right down to doing their homework and reading,  to dinner, bath, a little play (with plenty of giggles and laughs), and then bedtime.  Just a wow kind of day.  We didn’t do anything special.   It’s just a regular day, but wow.  Today. 

Little-white-blooms-(1)

Thank you, Josh and Zoƫ, for the wow today.

Linking up -

09 April 2014


From the Discover Hong Kong site:

The Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums and has been dubbed ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. Home to many a devout monk, this monastery is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography and its pleasant garden is alive with birdsong and flowery scents. You can also enlighten your appetite at their popular vegetarian restaurant.

Po-Lin-Monastery-(1)

One of the places I’d visited with D was the Po Lin Monastery in Lantau.  We took the cable car up from Tung Chung.  The original plan was to visit the Big Buddha, but since the monastery was practically a stone’s throw away, we headed over for a quick visit first.  Interesting place.  There were people lighting incense and praying in the courtyard.  Inside, it’s just a hall with three giant gold Buddhas (representing the Past, Present, and Future) behind glass.   There’s another hall somewhere in the premises where visitors can have a vegetarian lunch during their visit.

Incense-(1)


07 April 2014

My friend and I occasionally go out on photo walks.  This shot below was taken during the one we took in North Point, around Marble Street.  If you love street photography, you will love North Point.  The place itself is so full of character and local flavor –in more ways than one!

Part of the reason why I love shooting around Marble Street are the senior citizens that are out and about there.  Some of them would be out doing their marketing, buying vegetables, haggling over prices with various vendors.  Some of them would be out for a walk with a grandchild.  Some of them just hanging out with their friends, shooting the breeze.  There are others would be working hard to eke out a living.  Like this bent little old lady below. 

She was busy collecting and gathering up used cardboard boxes from the street, from various shops.  She would collapse them one by one and stack them up on a cart, to transport them somewhere where she would sell them.  Not for a lot of money, but it would afford her food on the table.  She is not the only one that I have seen collecting and transporting cardboard boxes.  There are a number of little old ladies around Hong Kong who are doing what she’s doing.

I don’t know their story.  I don’t know why they’re in that situation at this stage of their lives.  On the one hand, I am glad that such ‘opportunities’ (for want of a better word!) exists for them, but on the other hand, it makes me feel sad that they’re not somewhere else more ‘comfortable.’ 

NP-Old-lady-(2)

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02 April 2014

Peek-A-Boo



Last week, I’d mentioned that spring is finally here.  That I could finally wear shorts.  Well, it seems that I’d spoken a bit too soon.  Towards the end of last week, we had heavy rains, thick fog, and thunderstorms.  We even had hail!  The first time ever I think that Hong Kong had hail.   There were reports that hailstones broke through some glass panels of a shopping mall and caused flooding inside.

Flowers-amongst-the-rocks-(1)

Rain is predicted still for the rest of this week.  Hopefully, no more hail.

So boring all this talk about the weather, I know.  Nothing much is happening around here.  We’ve been chillin’.  Mostly. 


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