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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Orchestra

My son, Josh, plays the violin in his university's orchestra and a community orchestra.

Photos to share
Josh (right)
Josh (2nd from left) with his buddies
Josh (center) with the community orchestra
Me and the hubs at one of Josh's concerts
Me
Josh 
A recent concert by the community orchestra


The university's orchestra

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ramly Burger

Whenever my nephew visits from neighbouring Singapore, he always requests for a Ramly Burger. A classic Malaysian street food, the Ramly Burger is a huge favourite with the locals and Singaporeans.
Essentially, the Ramly Burger is just an egg-wrapped burger but the way the burger guy makes it is kinda fascinating.
First, the meat patty is butterflied, squirted with sauces and then joined back up. Next, an egg is cracked onto the griddle and spread out evenly and thinly. The patty is then drenched with more sauces and folded with the egg like a parcel! An ingenious way of containing the sauces, don't you think? Before the burger is wrapped up, the 'parcel' is then placed on a buttered bun, topped with shredded cabbage and slivers of onions followed by more liberal squirts of mayo, Maggi Seasoning and chili sauce. Sloppy, greasy, unhealthy and overloaded with sauces but totally worth it!

Here's how it's done.


Interestingly, did you know that Ramly Burgers are banned in Singapore due to concerns over the low quality meat? This makes the forbidden burgers even more desirable and enterprising Singaporean street vendors have even resorted to selling burgers with their own patties in the clever disguise of Ramly's trademark burger wrappers!
Nice! But it's the Ramly patties that are the heart and soul of this unique Malaysian burger. I was told that vendors risk jail and fine and even their trade license just to smuggle the frozen patties into their country!

So why is it called the Ramly Burger?

Founder Ramly Bin Mokni created the burger  in 1979. The couple initially sold burgers at a mobile kiosk in Kuala Lumpur. When their burgers gained popularity,  they subsequently sold their unique patties, along with the egg-wrapping technique to other street vendors. The vendors named the burger after their supplier.
Five years later, the couple opened their first factory when their homegrown business expanded.

Today, Ramly is the brand name of Ramly's frozen and fast food supplies company.


Operating only at night and usually run by young people with daytime jobs,  Ramly Burger stands can be found everywhere and in every neighbourhood. You can be certain there is always one in front of  a 7-Eleven store.

Good news for New Yorkers! Our famous egg-wrapped burgers are now selling in Queens!


Have you tried a Ramly Burger? Would you?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Rain

While waiting out the rain in a restaurant, my son Rodney messed around with an Instagram App to kill time. It was raining cats and dogs. Stuck in the restaurant with nothing else to do, I stared out the window, watching and listening to the pitter-patter of the falling rain; something I hadn't done in a long, long time. One tends to take the rain for granted when one lives in a country with a wet climate.

The sound of the rain was a balm for my soul. I felt a sense of peace and calm.

Rodney's cinemagraph

What can be more perfect than a nice glass of steaming Oolong tea on a cold rainy day?

I really love Rodney's cinemagraph.  It's a reminder to take a break from the fast track; to slow down and  enjoy the simple pleasures around us. Sometimes, we need to stop and smell the rain.

When was the last time you sat by the window and watched the rain?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Miso Butter

Sole In Miso Butter and Mango Salsa
I have been experimenting with miso lately and am now adding miso butter as the latest arsenal to my culinary armory. It's super versatile and you can use it on just about anything: grilled vegetables, seafood, meat, mushrooms, etc.  It's also fantastic tossed with pasta and fresh herbs.

It's everything butter, only better! And it's so easy to make. The ratio is 2 parts butter to 1 part miso.  Just cream the butter (softened at room temperature) with miso until smooth and well combined.
Miso butter can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 weeks before serving.

A favourite recipe to share


Just add sugar and mirin to the miso butter. Pan fry your fish or meat and that's it!

The result?  A serious umami bomb!

Here's what I made but instead of a salad, I paired my fish with mango salsa. A little sour and a little sweet to cut out some of the saltiness of the miso butter.

Mmmm!! The fish is nice and moist and the salsa just works perfectly with it.
You really gotta try this.  Michael Lewis' recipe here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Gone But Not Forgotten

Someone said he was the light of the world and anyone who had met him would warm up in his glowing. Sadly, he was engulfed by the darkness that was tormenting him.

I am heartbroken beyond words. Such a tragedy.

Still in shock, Malaysian are mourning the loss of our favourite celebrity chef.

I don't mean to judge, but really, suicide never steals the life of just one person.

Aunty Aini with Anthony Bourdain. 
Aunty Aini, whose Malay restaurant in Negri Sembilan was featured twice by Anthony Bourdain, pays tribute to the beloved chef in the following video. She said Bourdain was a humble man who always encouraged others to be original.



She said it all and that is what he was all about.

Anthony enjoying a bowl of Asam Laksa in Penang, Malaysia
In the company of the Longhouse dwellers in Rumah Entalau
R.I.P Anthony. The world will never be the same again without you.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Eid al-Fitr

A scene from Rumah Epik Fantastik.
Today, Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Fitr. In Malaysia, we call it Hari Raya Adilfitri. Hari Raya in Malay literally translates as ‘celebration day’ and Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of dawn-to-sunset fasting.

Over here, the festival is a major public holiday and offices and schools officially close for 2 days.

During the Hari Raya month, Muslims return to their kampung (village) to visit their elders, relatives and friends. A lavish spread of food awaits!

It is customary for Muslims to wear traditional clothes on Hari Raya. The men generally wear Baju Melayu (a loose shirt with trousers) with kain samping (a short sarong) and a songkok (cap), while the Baju Kurung is often worn by the ladies. Families usually dress in the same colours to represent unity.

Below is a beautiful Hari Raya commercial to share.

Briefly, the video is about Arif, a young Malay boy surviving an overcrowded and chaotic house when members of his entire extended family arrive from the city and other states to spend Hari Raya at the already crammed kampung house where he lives with his *Nenek.
Initially, he is unhappy with the intrusion. He is also resentful of the younger cousins messing with his stuff. He later understands the meaning of togetherness and realizes that Hari Raya is merrier and even more festive when the entire clan celebrates together under one roof.
A scene from the video
The colorful video captures the quintessence of  a Malay household:  a traditional kampong house, vibrant costumes, food, language, etc.

*Nenek in Malay is grandmother and Nek is Nenek for short



Selamat Hari Raya to all my Muslim pallies!

Run Jump Scrap

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FIFA WORLD CUP 2018

Dang! Football Fever strikes again! I can't believe it has been 4 years already since the last World Cup. The event is pretty epic in our testosterone-charged household.

I don't really care for World Cup but it means I won't be getting a good night's sleep for a whole month; not with Hubby and the boys and the entire  neighbourhood shouting "GOAAAAAAL!!!" each time the teams they are betting on net a ball.

Due to the difference in time zones, Malaysians stay up at ungodly hours to watch the matches live on TV.

Before I rant on further, here's an excerpt from a previous post to explain what World Cup Fever is.

Every 4 years, Malaysians are stricken with a fever, a condition not life-threatening but debilitating with effects that include 
  •  a zombie-like state with a single purpose in life
  •  sleep-deprivation
  •  blurred vision
  •  hoarse voice
  •  weight-gain and an increased risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)
  •  excessive use of profanities that is otherwise uncharacteristic of the victim
  •  mood swings that are accompanied with tears of joy/disappointment/anger
The pandemic hits any and most countries not called USA where the population is somewhat immune, probably due to the lack of interest for the cause that they have a different name for anyway. There is no cure for this condition, no drugs or antidote and the only treatment is to allow the malady to run its normal course for approximately one month. This condition is called World Cup Fever and it infects people who fanatically follow the world's most popular sport, football a.k.a soccer.

My cookiefied Zabivaka
Zabivaka FIFA 2018
Zabivaka is the official mascot of the 2018 FIFA World Cup which is held in Russia. The mascot represents  an anthropomorphic wolf in orange sports glasses and wearing a white T-shirt with the words "RUSSIA 2018".  The blue and white T-shirt and red shorts represent  the national colors of the Russian team.

Are you a football fan? Which teams are you betting on?

I am rooting for  Colombia only because  James Rodriguez is smokin' hot!
Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Friday, June 1, 2018

Guess What This Is...

My son, Josh, got me this for Mother's Day.
Can you guess what this is?
It's a mini Durian cheesecake!

The "thorns" are made of matcha butter icing and the "flesh" is durian cheese cream.

Nice! But a tad too sweet for me. The smell? Well, durian is durian!

Real Durians
Haha!  Watch this cat's reaction to durians.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Microbe Cookies

Cookiefied microbes as farewell gifts for my son's mentors on his last day of internship as Research Assistant with a university hospital

Haha! Someone joked that his mentors would all be in ICU after eating these!

Josh (in the blue shirt) and his co-workers

ethannevelyn.com

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Moo Grob

Moo Grob 

Moo in Thai means pig as well as pork and Grob translates as crispy so Moo Grob = Crispy Pork.
If you are looking for a savoury crispy snack, look no further!

Marinated with just 5 ingredients and deep fried, these are guaranteed to impress your Super Bowl party guests. Bring them to your next Potluck and surprise your guests with a plate of this hearty, mouthwatering treat.

Serve with Thai sweet chilli or Sriracha sauce for dipping. Messy, unhealthy, artery-clogging but totally worth it!

Sharing this recipe by Siam Sizzles


I tweaked the recipe just a little - I halved the chicken stock powder and added a little sugar to balance out the saltiness.

INGREDIENTS
500g pork belly

Marinade
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 egg
Dash of ground pepper
1/2 tbsp of chicken stock powder (or any meat seasoning powder is fine)
3 tbsp tempura flour
1/2 tsp sugar

1. Rinse the pork belly with water, dry with paper towels and place in a large mixing bowl

2. Add all the marinade ingredients into the bowl and mix evenly.

3. Marinate at least an hour, longer if possible but I prefer to leave it in the fridge overnight.

4. Deep fry the pork until golden brown and crispy (about 10 minutes depending on size of the pork)

5. Cut the pork into strips, and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Enjoy!  Pairs well with beer! Perfect as a side dish too.

Run Jump Scrap

Friday, May 11, 2018

Gwa Sha

When I ran into an old pal a couple of months back, I had to do a double take. She looked fantastic, years younger than the last time I saw her! I badgered her for her beauty secret. Reluctantly, she shared with me that she had been using an ancient Chinese massage technique called Gwa Sha.

Gwa Sha is a healing medical treatment that has been used for centuries throughout Asia. An implement is used to scrape the skin. Gwa means to scrape and Sha is the term for the red skin rash that results from the scraping. The redness is temporary and should disappear shortly.
Traditionally, spoons and coins are used. Scraping the skin helps encourage blood flow to the area, bringing nutrients to the skin and additionally promoting lymphatic drainage and toxin release. Collagen levels are boosted, resulting in a slimmer and firmer face.
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image source -  http://www.cosmopolitan.com
I have been spooning my face daily for almost 2 weeks now and I do notice some differences. My face appears slightly lifted and the nasal labial folds and marionette lines are less prominent.The scraping actually exfoliates the skin and the effects are just like what you expect after a scrub - brighter and more even toned. Even the eye bags are less visible!


Do try this simple massage and let me know the results.

Run Jump Scrap

ethannevelyn.com

Friday, May 4, 2018

Turn Right!


This Uber driver asked for directions at the guardhouse of our condo and was instructed to turn right. And so she did!    :smack:

My Random Musings

Run Jump Scrap

ethannevelyn.com

Friday, April 27, 2018

Butterfly Pea Tea

When we were little, my late grandma loved to amuse us with this "magic trick". She would  squeeze lime juice into a tall jug of blue liquid and voila! It magically turned purple!
Afterwards, she would serve us the concoction and we would happily gulp it down, believing that it was some kind of magic potion!

I didn't know then that the 'magic potion' was actually tea made from an infusion of the Butterfly Pea flower. I had long forgotten about this purple limenade until a recent visit to Cousin R who was back for a holiday from Ohio. She was picking the blue flowers in her mom's garden when we  dropped in. She was going to dry the flowers and bring them back to the States. According to her, Butterfly Pea beverages have started to hit American shelves and people just can't get enough of it!

Photos like the ones below are popping up on Pinterest and Instagram.

Aren't these pretty! Don't they just scream SUMMER?!
image source - https://www.instagram.com/p/BZOMr1uFS51/?taken-by=bluechaitea
So fun to serve at parties
image source - https://www.theflavorbender.com/galaxy-color-changing-lemonade-slushie/
Beautiful, refreshing and loaded with health promoting antioxidants, flavonoids and peptides. What's not to love?
image source -  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bf3malynzRT/
The Butterfly Pea flower
image source -  https://drhealthbenefits.com
Clitoria ternatea aka Butterfly Pea. This genus was thus named because of its resemblance to a certain vital lady part!
Known as Bunga Telang in Malay, this vine is easy to grow and commonly seen creeping on fences in most Malaysian backyards all year round.
The Malays and Peranakan use the Butterfly Pea as a natural blue dye for cakes, rice and dumplings.
image source -  http://sekkito.com
So what was the magic behind Grandma's color changing limenade? Ha! That was no sorcery!
The 'magic' (science!) lies in the deep blue petals of the Butterfly Pea flower. Once steeped, the liquid changes colour based on the pH level. So adding an acid like lime juice is what causes it to turn bright purple, or violet.



A beautiful drink to make


5 Reasons why you should drink this tea

1.  It is rich in anti-oxidants
2.  It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
3.  It boosts collagen production, increasing skin elasticity. SOLD!
4.  It improves vision as the anthocyanins promote blood circulation helping the eyes to adjust to changes in light conditions. Also, it could be an excellent preventive aid for cataracts, retinal damage, and eye infections.
5.  It promotes healthy and luscious hair growth

I like my Butterfly Pea tea warm with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
Butterfly Pea Lemonade - Naturally purple and refreshing
Ingredients
A glass of hot water
6 butterfly pea flowers
Ice if you like it cold
Honey or sugar to taste
A slice of lemon

Directions
Drop the Butterfly Pea flowers into a glass of hot water. Steep for a few minutes until the water turns blue. Add the sugar or honey, followed by a squeeze of lemonade. Add ice and stir.


Have you tried Butterfly Pea beverages? What do you think?

Run Jump Scrap

My Random Musings

ethannevelyn.com

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dysgeographica? Spatially Challenged? Geographical Dyslexia? Directional Disabled?

I can't drive. I can't find my way around even in places I've been to a thousand times. I can't judge distance. And if I turn left to enter the ladies or an elevator in the mall, I need to remind myself to turn right when I come out. I dare not even take a few steps away from my hotel in a strange city 'cos I know I wouldn't be able to find my way back unless I leave a trail of breadcrumbs! If I watch a Youtube tutorial on a hundred ways to tie a scarf, my brain can't register which way the scarf is being twisted or turned.  If I want to create something symmetrically, my brain can't do the whole mirror-image thing. I can’t look at a two dimensional drawing and translate it into a three dimensional picture in my head.

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image credit - https://giphy.com

When I was fifteen, I used  to ride my bicycle to my best friend's house  but was chronically lost. I had not one, but two accidents while cycling. The first was when I was knocked down by an oncoming motorcyclist when I attempted to cross the road. Luckily for me, I wasn't hurt. Just a few scratches and a bruised ego. I felt so dumb. My cousin who was cycling with me asked me afterward why the hell I crossed the road when the biker was so near. But to me, he appeared to be quite far away.
The second time, I was hit by a bus while cycling home from my cousin's house. I can't really recall what exactly happened. I vaguely remember the sound of screeching brakes and the driver alighting and yelling at me maniacally, causing a scene. I was more mortified than petrified! Miraculously, I was unscathed, not a single scratch. Perhaps the driver braked just in time. Or perhaps I have a powerful guardian angel who was working overtime, watching out for me. Ha! I bet he/she is relieved I don't drive!

The incident scarred me for life. I have since become dromophobic (fear of crossing streets) and vehophobic (fear of driving).

In today's liberated age, the idea of a non-driving woman isn't acceptable. "What? You don’t drive??!!" People would say, bemused and amused, looking at me like I am a wimp.  And when I answer that I am spatially challenged (I don't know how else to describe my condition), they think I am making it up just to find an excuse for not wanting to drive.

Recently, my younger son, Rodney, has been displaying some of the symptoms when he started to drive. He clearly has no sense of direction, lacks any memory of routes, can't find his way back to where he has parked his car, etc. He is perpetually lost just like me! Thank God for GPS!

It dawns on me now that some of his traits are related to this whole spatial awareness thing. For instance, Math. While he excels in all the other branches of Math, he just can't ace Geometry.

I feel really bad for passing this defective gene to him but now people give me more credence and understand that my inability to drive is not just a quirk of mine or that I am lazy or stupid. I know I sound like a bad mom but knowing that I am not alone in this is comforting. Believe me, I hate myself for having him inherit that flawed gene. It can be pretty hilarious when Rodney and I are out on an errand, even if it's just in our neck of the woods. It's a classic case of blind leading the blind!

Save for the two of us, I don't know anyone else personally who lacks spatial awareness. Looking back, I do remember an uncle who didn't drive. His wife was always at the driver's seat and it was a running joke between my aunts and uncles. Back in the 60s, a  non-driving male was less than a man and had no place in society. Poor guy! Perhaps, he too, was born without an internal compass.

There is no official name or write-up for our condition. Many websites lump this undiagnosed disorder with Directional Dyslexia. The writer of The Reading Well defined it as "Extreme difficulty distinguishing right from left and following a sequence of directions or retracing a path." But I disagree. Rodney and I have no problem distinguishing left from right or west from east. But we most definitely can't follow a sequence of directions or retrace a path!

I am often haunted by recurring nightmares of getting lost in a forest, inside a building, going to school, office, etc. I await the day when medical science can decipher the symptomatology, why our brains are wired differently and give us a medical term and cure for it.

Meanwhile, we have our own coping mechanisms.


Funnies .....

My Random Musings

Run Jump Scrap

ethannevelyn.com
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