August 12, 2015

Foodie Fridays: Chicken fried rice and avocado

This post is dedicated to Kendall for having faith that I'd be able to do something like this.

I'm a very simple cook which is completely unlike my writing style. I love food and I love trying new things, but when it comes down to it my staples are very simple. For example, I hate plain rice (white, brown and everything in between), but I love fried rice. Since we always have an abundance of rice in the house my favorite quick and easy meal is to throw a bunch of things together in a pot (meat, vegetables, spices), add some rice and other things and voila...fried rice. The rice we typically use is a parboiled Guyanese brown rice and occasionally we use basmati rice, both of which are okay substitutions for whatever it is that they use in Chinese restaurants. Our rice is softer and less sticky so if you make this expecting Chinese fried rice you will be slightly disappointed. Only slightly because this dish is bangin' and you'll forget about your expectations after the first bite.

Going forward I'll make a better effort to use easy to acquire ingredients, but if I use what's in my fridge, which is something you won't get easy access to, I'll be sure to include useful substitutions.

Also, I know it's not Friday, but I was so excited about posting my first Foodie Friday, I did it two days early. Excuse the excitement and going forward I'll be good about sticking to the schedule. 

Ingredients:

- Cooked chicken (I used leftover chicken from a soup I had the day before, but Rotisserie chicken or Tysons Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips will work just as well, as well as fresh meat. Only difference is that you cook the chicken longer, obviously.)
- Seekh chicken kabobs. (I had one homemade chicken patty left in the fridge so I threw it in for the spice factor, but using the masala alone will give you the flavor you need. I'll teach you how to use it so don't be afraid of it.)
- Cooking oil (I use a variety of oils. EVOO, Avocado, Sunflower and Canola. I've found that all work equally well.)
- Onion
- Garlic
- Egg
- Salt
- Tomatoes
- Rice
- Soy sauce
- Avocado
- Lime

Disclosure: I'm pretty terrible at measurements because I've been cooking for many, many years by the seat of my pants so I'm only good at measuring by eye. I do use measurements when I follow other people's recipes so going forward I'll try to be more aware and provide measurements as much as possible. If you need clarifications on anything please leave a comment and I'll get back to you asap. With this recipe, I made just enough for my lunch and dinner so I'd estimate that I used two measuring cups of cooked rice. I also used 1/4 of a large onion cut into small pieces, 2 teaspoons of pre-minced garlic. I suggest using what suits your taste buds. The same with the eggs. I only needed one egg because it was a small amount of rice, but if you love eggs in your fried rice use more than one (probably no more than 3).

First, I heated the oil on high and then lowered it to medium heat when it got hot enough. Test it by dropping a small piece of onion into the pot. Once it starts to sizzle, it's ready. Cook the onions until it's starts to become translucent but before it browns. Add the garlic and then cook until slightly brown, but not burnt. For this recipe, you would now add the masala. It's pretty spicy so I'd suggest about a teaspoon. If you like spice and can deal with it one tablespoon is all you'll need. Masala takes a while to cook properly. First, I mix the masala, onion and garlic until it turns into a paste. I then add enough warm water to the paste until the mixture covers the width of the pan and then let it cook until the water dries out. I then add more water and repeat the process about once more (3 times total) so that the masala is properly cooked.

Then add the chicken. If you use pre-cooked chicken you only need it to cook it long enough to warm up in the pan. After cooking it through, I moved the chicken to the side of the pan, added a small amount of oil, let that heat up and then cracked the egg in the pan and scrambled it. Then I moved everything over to the other side of the pan, dropped in the tomatoes (no limitations on how much you should use), cooked that for about 30 seconds and then mixed the masala chicken, scrambled egg, and tomatoes together. I then added the rice and mixed everything together. After that, I added soy sauce. I use Kikkoman's Low Sodium Soy Sauce. A few splashes should do. It's not a strong flavour so you won't ruin it by adding too much. At this point is when I taste it and then add salt. MAKE SURE TO USE SALT!

As always my recipes are usually done on the fly and it depends on what I feel like eating that day that determines what goes into it. Today I had the most beautiful avocado, but I didn't want to include it in the fried rice, so a few pieces on the side with a splash of lime and a dash of salt balanced the spiciness of the rice. 

This is recipe is a great receptacle for loads of different ingredients. Ground beef, pork or turkey would work well here as well as Korean BBQ marinated pork or chicken which I often use in this recipe. You can buy the meat from H-Mart. Let's go shopping together if you're interested in making this recipe and want suggestions!

Please let me know what you think in the comments below about the readability of the post/recipe and whether it was easy to follow. I appreciate nicely worded constructive criticism Also, you can follow the blog or sign up to receive emails so you don't miss any Foodie Friday posts.





April 4, 2015

Adventures in Dating: First impressions are everything.

For this blog post, you'll need no introduction or background other than this snapshot.


Needless to say, I never responded.

April 2, 2015

Adventures in Dating: The smart dumb one.

It's been a while since I spoke with this specific guy, but I remember him saying something being very scientific and working somewhere seemingly important hence the 'smart' and I'm probably misremembering because, well you'll see. The 'dumb' comes in because he doesn't believe in nationality and ethnicity and thinks that the key to fighting ISIS/ISIL is to not believe in divisive factors. I get that part. I get saying that these factors should not be divisive and that you want the world to be whole and peaceful. The dumb part is not acknowledging that they exist at all. Nationality? It exists. Ethnicity? It exists! Ever hear of passports and different physical features because of different ethnicities? Like straight hair vs curly hair or big eyes vs small eyes or dark skin vs fair skin? I'm not imagining it when I look at me and my friends and see different physical features. We acknowledge it exists and we don't let it divide us. In fact, we revel in being different. So, to the smart dumb one from Tinder - the fact is, these ideas actually exist and you denying they exist doesn't make it so and isn't the best way to be the change you want to see in the world.

Note: I lost a screen somewhere so the first part of this conversation is us talking about breakfast. He had 'green juice' and I said "what happened to good ole fashioned bacon and eggs?" which offended him a bit because he's a vegetarian. Then I tried to change subjects by asking his nationality, which seemed to offend him even more because I automatically guessed Indian. Note to self: no more guessing. I personally love when people try to figure out where I am from, but I guess I'm more of a free spirit and I don't get offended very easily. Unless people tell me to 'calm down' or 'relax'. Then I get all...Dwight.





February 6, 2015

The one where I spice up your life...

...but in a clean and fun way because that title is a bit suspicious.

At lunch today I mentioned to my co-workers that I write a blog. Well, two blogs. They of course seized upon that information like a starving dog with a bone. They thought it was hilarious and found such amusement in it. I was glad because I aim to please by keeping people amused, but then again I was a little shy about it. It may not seem like I'm shy about letting people read my writings since I write two online blogs for Pete's sake, but I really am. I only get through it because I never check how many people read it and if/when people do praise me I just blush and move past it. In any case these folks were super eager to hear about my latest post and I told them all about 'Arizona' and the case of 'relax and chill'. They loved it! (At least they said they did.) One co-worker made a comment about how she wouldn't have anything to write a blog about because her life is so boring. I, of course, immediately heard "spice up her life!" and the challenge was accepted! Here's how I spiced up her life...

Today was a cold and windy day. Not one of those typical cold and windy January days you only seem to experience in the suburbs of Washington D.C. or the tundra of Siberia. Today there was a chill in the air that seemed to suck all the happiness out of my soul. It lashed with a harshness that made me lament for any exposed piece of skin. My poor face was taking the brunt of it. The face that was used to the warmth and beauty of the Caribbean sun was undergoing a torture that was unequaled. Every step I took seemed like an uphill battle, like I was Sisyphus, King of Corinth, doomed to forever push a boulder up a hill. The ten-minute walk seemed interminable and I cursed every dreaded step. I closed my inner eye and tried to soothe my soul because I knew a bigger battle awaited me; work. Today I needed to don my armour and prepare my sword and get ready to do battle with Abby, my demon of a boss. She loved work and loved making our environment similar to hell, from which she had sprung. She pumped freezing cold air into the office in the mornings, so cold we had to wrap our hands in order to type. In the afternoons, hot air blasted from the vents in an effort to reverse any damage from the morning’s cold air. However, the damage had already been done. My brain had stalled and refused to restart. It whimpered, “No more, please no more.” I sadly whispered, “I’m sorry brain! There isn’t anything I can do.” Tears formed in my eyes. Whether they were from the harsh wind or knowing what my future held, I didn’t know. I saw a shadow on the ground in front of me and I grimaced. I knew without looking what caused that shadow. It was the shadow of a building that haunted my dreams. Nightmares really. I took a deep breath and steadied myself. “You can do it,” I thought as I walked through the door.

February 4, 2015

Adventures in Dating: Relax dude, it's all chill...

I'm baaaaack! Not in the creepy Jack Nicholson/Shining way, but more in the kick-ass Randy Quaid/Independence Day way. It's been a while, I know, and you can blame it on graduate school. It's amazing and the most fun I've ever had in school, but it also sucks up all your free time and leaves you with a shell of a life. I decided now that I have more free time I could maybe start online dating again. What a great idea! Not. If I sound less than enthused it's because during my very first conversation with the dude, let's call him Arizona, told me to 'relax' AND 'chill' in practically the same breath. In case you're wondering what's the big deal, I'll tell you! To me, and lots of people I know, saying relax, chill, calm down, etc when they're not angry or worked up, but simply expressing an opinion that the other person doesn't agree with is a good way to actually make them angry or worked up. I've posted the screenshots here, but I should preface this by saying he does digital analytics for a living. If you're wondering what that is, why, I'll tell you! You know when you visit a website and you're like "ooooh, that's cute" and then you go to Facebook, Mother Jones, Forbes or basically any website that shows ads and all of a sudden that dress/pair of shoes/external hard drive you were checking out is featured in an ad on that site and you're like "omg they're stalking me!" Well, yes they are. That's what cookies are! I'm sure you all know this. At least I hope so. This guy didn't think I knew that and sent a good three or four messages telling me about it before I looked back at the conversation and told him "stop, I get it, I live in the 21st century."  (Or something more polite.) Anyhoo, he later asked for my last name and I wasn't going to give anyone my full name so they could look me up online, especially a self-confessed professional creeper! I told him that and here's what he had to say! I'm sure a lot of it is me overreacting, but on the other hand I really do hate when people tell me to relax especially when I don't want to do something and I say so and they turn it back on me to seem like I'm  crazy, overreacting, or emotional. Word of advice dude, it's just not cool. I'm not the only one who feels this way. Thoughts? Did I overreact? Was he just a ridiculous person?




May 9, 2014

Adventures in Dating: Getting dumped can be cathartic if you handle it well

Soooo...this happened to me recently.



Adventures in Dating: Messages that would never get a response from any woman on this planet...

Okay, okay. I know that blog post title is ├╝ber harsh, but I'm feeling slightly cranky this morning and really irritated with the way online dating is going. I spend more time fending off weirdos with freaky messages than meeting normal people. How would these men approach women in real life? Is this how they would present themselves for the first time? Not sure why they think it would go over well in cyber life. We have the same reaction: roll eyes and ignore.

1) U can't be real lol

2) Look..you have got an entry here :P

3) hi, hausau!! (He didn't even get my screen name right!)
You look awesome!!
but do you watch community?

4) Hey there
kaisi ho? how's your life going?
it's N here would you like to chat?
(He lives in India. I don't know what he thinks is going to happen and I don't understand people who want to be online friends.)

5) Howdy, here's to hoping that you want to get to know each other :) (Combined with his height of 5'3" there was no way this guy was getting a response. Kudos for being outgoing enough to message first.)

6) u very cute

7) Hey whtzup!!!
I like you plz reply me on ur opinion!!

8) Hi


How are you? You look exotic. What do you do for fun? (Nothing. I do absolutely nothing for fun.)

April 29, 2014

Adventures in Dating: The one where I go on a second date!

I met W a couple of weeks ago and it was seriously one of the best first dates of my life. We debated the merits of the LOTR films vs. the books and agreed that it was probably one of the ONLY times in our lives where the movie was quite possibly better than the book. I'm sure he couldn't believe that he was having that conversation with me...a girl in pink glasses. (Hmmmm....new screen name perhaps?) Okay, back to the important stuff. We talked for hours and hours and hours. I missed several trains home. When we finally stood up at the same time my heart skipped a beat because he was a solid 4 inches taller than me. As a tall girl I can't tell you how rare it is to look up to someone. It's worth the crick in the neck. We walked to the metro together and he held my hand AND I wasn't freaked out by it. In fact, it was quite refreshing. He kissed me as he put me on my train and we made plans to see each other again. In fact, when I texted him later that evening to thank him for a lovely date he texted back and we continued to chat. I saw him again on Thursday. We skipped the weekend because I had friends in town (and...well he was out of town.) I'd just like to make it clear that if my friends (who also happen to be two of my biggest fans) ::whoa watch out head, no getting bigger:: were also in town while he was, they have/will always have priority.

We texted back and forth for a while, but inevitably the conversation started slowing down. We made plans for the following weekend, but he called out sick/had work/who remembers what the excuse was. I began to doubt the whole thing, but when he texted, on Monday, asking to go out later that week I said yes to Friday. He, of course, didn't text until 7:30 Friday night. 5 days. (Hmmmm...I feel like that number has popped up before.) I mean, I feel like it's just common sense AND good manners to text earlier because who the hell texts right before expecting to get a yes? I felt like it was turning into something I didn't want and so I didn't see him that night. We did go out to dinner after the library the next evening, which made me realise I should never hang out with anyone after spending so many hours hunched over microfilm in the library. I should head home immediately and take my frustration out on stupid tourists. It was a slightly awkward meal because all I could think about was food and every time I opened my mouth all I could say was "sushiiiii" and drool slightly. Not super attractive. On our walk back to the metro we both realised we'd be going to AWESOME CON the next day. If you don't know what Awesome Con is you can find out here. My friend Dana over at Good Red Herring is a fantastic blogger and her pictures are infinitely better than mine. I digress...again. I texted him shortly after I arrived at Awesome Con the next day because Dana was off at her own panel and I had a bit of time to kill before my next one. He never responded. I made up my mind there and then that was it. Then, of course, we ran into to each other. He was there with his roommates and I feel like the proverbial third wheel. Well maybe 5th wheel. It was supremely awkward. I'd go on about how it was awkward, but then I'd probably seem like the crazy one for complaining about the "small stuff." The point is I felt awkward and that's pretty much all that matters. I vowed to get out of there asap and never put myself in that position again. I stopped talking to him and vice versa after that. I'm sure I'll put myself in that position again because you never know how life turns out, but I did learn another lesson. No matter how good a kisser a guy is nothing's ever going to happen if he isn't really a good guy.

Sorry, if this seemed uber depressing. My next blog post will probably be about the 23-year old who keeps messaging me. In his defense, I messaged him back. Orrrr maybe it'll be the one about the GIRL who keeps sending me messages on OkCupid. In her defense, I message her back too. We talk about how terrible guys are. It's kind of funny.