31 May 2010

Chicken Nuggets

Home cooked meals are very easy to make and honestly nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing your loved ones are having the best there is in terms of nutrition and at the same time enjoys the meals as much you enjoy making them. And these days although fast food is very convenient for a busy family, sometimes having them too often can be quite harmful to one’s health. Ashley loves those meals that comes with a toy and I decided to cut down on her intake and make my own nuggets instead. At least I know what’s goes into her tummy and she wouldn’t even know the difference. So here’s one of the many ‘fast food’ you can make at home.

You Need
2 skinless and boneless chicken  breasts, cleaned and fat trimmed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup *breadcrumbs (or you can get it from supermarket)
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 tablespoon of dried Italian herbs (you may use chopped fresh basil or parsley or dried mixed herbs)
4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of plain flour
oil for frying


1.You need half a loaf of stale bread (you may also use any kind of bread, white, brown, baguette, whatever you have on hand)
2. Break it up into pieces and place it in food processor. Process until fine crumbs form.
3. Transfer and use according to recipe
4. Generally half a loaf (8-9 slices) will make about 3 cups so you may keep the remaining of the breadcrumbs in sealed bag or container in the freezer until the next time you need to use breadcrumbs.  

How To
1. After cleaning the chicken, pat dry and cut into chunks. Place them in the food processor and pulse the chicken until roughly chopped.
2. Add in half of the dried herbs, black pepper and salt and blend with the chicken. At this point the chicken should be well mixed with the herbs and seasoning.
3. Rub your hand with some flour to avoid having a sticky hand when you roll and shape the chicken mixture. Take some chicken mixture and roll it on your palm to form a ball shape about the size of a ping pong ball.
4. Once the chicken mixture has been all rolled and shaped up, prepare the coating. Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese, seasoning set aside. Line flour, egg and lastly breadcrumbs. Take the nuggets and roll it in the flour, shake excessive flour and next roll it in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
5. Gently press down the nuggets with your thumb or with the back of a knife.
6. Heat up oil in a non stick frying pan. Make sure the oil is hot and not smoking, otherwise your nuggets will burn. Place the nuggets onto the pan and cook about 5-6 minutes on both side.
7. Drain the nuggets on kitchen paper towel.
8. Serve and enjoy!  

You may add in some chopped vegetables such as carrot, celery into the chicken mixture for the added crunch and plus that way your kid if a picky eater like Ashley gets their vegetables as well  

Cooking Tutorials

20 May 2010

I Blog About Food – Pick Me!


Blog Name / URL
Alesia, The Home Cook [http://alesiathehomecook.blogspot.com]

When do you start blogging?
On an auspicious date , September 9, 2009. [09.09.09]

Introduce yourself and your blog
I’m Alesia, a stay at home mommy to a 3 year old picky eater and a homemaker to a hard working husband whom is trying to provide everything for us. I’ve always loved cooking since young thanks to my mom and grannies who are excellent cook themselves and only picked up photography after my husband bought himself a SLR camera. After much persuasion and encouragement from friends ( after a few months of sharing the pictures of the food I cooked on my Facebook profile) I decided to come up with a cooking blog. Aside from sharing the recipes with others, it’s also serves as an outlet for me to do something else aside from parenting.
Why do you blog about food?
Why not? :) Food is always the best topic, everyone has to eat somehow plus it’s also my interest which I’m very passionate about.
Do you make money with your food blog?
Not really although I have received a couple of offers to bring this hobby of mine to the next level; food styling and photography for a magazine.  At the moment I’m with Foodbuzz.com , a food blog community, the money is there but very minimal.
Why should we pick your food blog?
Because it would be a great boost of confidence for me to continue what I’m currently doing and maybe just maybe I would be able to earn a living through my blog even though I’m a stay at home mommy.
I would to express my gratitude and also a big thank you to MBP (Mom Bloggers Planet) for coming up with a great contest for all the inspiring food bloggers such as myself.

My 27th Birthday Dinner at Sage

On my 27th birthday 3 months ago (yes I’m sorry it took me that long to finally write about it) hubs decided to treat me to nice dinner at Sage. I’ve always prefer dinners at nice restaurants over gifts because I’m a foodie :D Plus we’ve been looking forward to this dinner after reading so many raving reviews about this place as it’s the sister restaurant of Cilantro, one of the well known fine dining place in Klang Valley.

Initially I was kind of nervous in bringing Ashley along because I’ve read somewhere that it’s not really a child friendly place since noisy toddlers doesn’t go along with the classy and quiet ambiance that fine dining restaurants usually have. And I got even more anxious when the hostess who greeted us with a jovial welcome gave a funny look (but managed to recover with a bigger smile) as I carried Ashley in.

I had a foreboding feeling that they would throw us out the moment Ashley lets out shrieks of joy for being in such a nice place. But thank goodness Ashley was well behaved throughout the dinner and she managed not to break or spill anything. Although I think the waitress was a tiny bit annoyed when Ashley played with the cutlery that she forgot to bring our palette cleanser. 
Alesia Birthday - NR-03   
The simple but pretty table arrangement

 So anyway after we were seated along with our complimentary breads, we took time to read our menu. And decided to go with the Sage dinner set at RM150nett that includes entree, main course, and dessert with coffee or tea. Of course they do have ala carte menu as well but it would be more expensive (entree at RM60nett, main course at RM95nett and dessert at RM30nett) 
Alesia Birthday - NR-01  
Warm crusty herbed bread with Pesto dipping. A nice change to the usual balsamic vinegar with olive oil. I nearly asked for a second helping but decided to keep the stomach space for the mains and dessert.
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The complimentary appetizer, chicken with caviar in cream sauce
Luckily the smart moi, already knew what to order thanks for the reviews of other foodie bloggers and even gave recommendations to the hubs plus our guest, K. 
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I went for Feuillete of Anago with Foie Gras and Duxelles for my entree, don’t attempt to pronounce this unless you’re fluent in French. I simply smiled and said to my hostess I want the Foie Gras with Unagi and Filo Pastry please. Because that is what is roughly called in English. As always I was not disappointed whenever I ordered foie gras especially with this dish. The crispy pastry topped with fatty foie gras layered with creamy mushroom spread drizzled lightly with sweet and herby shallot sauce that melts so deliciously in my mouth. Fat has never tasted this yummy before!
Alesia Birthday - NR-07

K had Carpaccio of Wagyu with Plum Infused Konbu Sauce and since I don’t take beef I can’t tell you how it taste like although K said it’s very good. Thin slices of Wagyu beef with sweet and sour plum sauce. A great pair up!
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Sea Scallop with Mesclun Salad and Provençal Vinaigrette for the Mr Hubs.
Perfectly pan seared scallops with light tomato and herbs vinaigrette = Delicious!!
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And my birthday dinner won’t be a birthday dinner at all if I don’t have my annual quota of alcoholic drinks (ok just one glass of bubbly) while Mr Hubs with his white wine to accompany the missus.

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After wiping clean our entrees, the must-haves photos taking session as we await patiently for the mains.
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Alesia Birthday - R-06The birthday girl with Ashley darling  Alesia Birthday - R-02 If you think she’s sleeping well then I guess she’s a pretty good actress because she’s not.

After the customary photo taking session, our mains arrived and boy I was already salivating at the sight of them! Alesia Birthday - NR-11Angus Beef with Mashed Potato and Natural Jus .  
Angus beef cooked medium well just the way K likes his beef. Couldn’t get further reviews from him because he’s at loss for words to describe it although he was slightly displeased at the portion size. Alesia Birthday - NR-15 Slow Cooked Wagyu Cheek with Flat Beans.
Mr Hubs loves the wagyu to bits in every sense of the word. I had to stop him from licking the plate clean. According to him, every bite is a gastronomic explosion in his mouth. I nearly wanted to have a tiny bite seeing the look of ecstasy etched on his face but of course I didn’t for religious reason.
Alesia Birthday - NR-16 Now I was torn between having lamb or duck for my main. Usually I’d go for the lamb but I gave in to Smoked Duck Breast with Foie Gras and Red Wine Sauce only because of the foie gras. How often can I have foie gras la if it’s not for a special occasion. Even the hostess raised her eyebrow in question, foie gras again m’am? Yeah why not, I replied in delight Alesia Birthday - NR-13Alesia Birthday - NR-14Alesia Birthday - NR-12
The duck was perfect although I don’t really fancy duck meat. The skin’s crispy while the meat’s juicy and not too leathery but the main highlight of the dish is definitely the foie gras. Velvety texture that leaves a nice lingering taste in your mouth. Yums! The red wine sauce with the duck’s natural juice certainly did wonders to the dish. Even thinking about it now makes me lick my lips in delight! I didn’t finish the duck meat and gave it to K who was still moaning about the portion size of his main course. At this point, we should be getting our palette cleanser but it didn’t come so we decided to kill time by taking more photos 
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Birthday kiss from my baby girl. 
After a few clicks of the camera, the desserts came and boy if there’s a gastronomic heaven I would have died and gone there after I had my first bite of the souffle. It’s very light, fluffy and airy just like the clouds scented with hazelnut essence with the slightly bitter yet sweet homemade chocolate ice cream
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Alesia Birthday - NR-21 Hazelnut Nougat Soufflé with Valrhona Chocolate Ice Cream.

The two men chose Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed when I tried this, it’s a bit on the flat side and not much chocolate sauce oozing out. 
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Of course to end the dinner, the usual coffee or tea with macaroons and chocolate chips but no pictures because Ashley popped the macaroons and chocolate into her mouth the moment the waitress placed them on the table. 
  Alesia Birthday - R-07Ashley : Daddy, I think you’re supposed to get mommy a birthday cake. This is where we sing Happy Birthday and blow the candles remember?  
Daddy : uh oh *forced laugh* smile the camera baby, I think your mommy wouldn’t mind the lack of a birthday cake on her birthday. 
 Alesia Birthday - NR-25Well clearly he thought wrong because the mommy was upset that there’s no birthday cake (oh look a picture of the macaroons!) But still sayang the hubs la, for spending on a great dinner. 
Ashley: are we done taking pictures? 
Overall I really enjoyed the dinner very much and definitely would go back again to try their degustation menu. But sorry ya hubs, it would be on you again since I’m not working :P

Lunch (Mon-Fri): 12pm-2pm
Dinner (Mon-Sat): 6pm-10.30pm
Closed on Sunday
The Gardens Residences Level 6,
The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 603 2268 1328
Fax: 603 2287 2189