Wednesday, May 30

Chicken Recipe: Chicken Curry

I am from Malaysia. Curry is one of the popular dishes. Almost everyone eats curry on weekly basis, if not daily. Anyways, I had a Malay neighbor while I was back in Malaysia. She always share the curry she cooked with us. The smell and rich aroma of curry is intoxicating. and now, I am alone in a foreign country, and this makes me miss Malaysian food more the ever. so, I look up some simple curry recipe on the internet, and I found out that the recipes requires many ingredients that are difficult to get in U.S. (or maybe I just don't know where to get it). I kinda modified the recipe, and it turned out pretty tasty. Although it is incomparable with the aunthentic ones, but the flavor of curry sort of cure my "foodsickness" temporary.

The ingredient is simple,, nothing too fancy or exotic. I admit that these herbs are essential for the strong and rich aroma that characterize a heavenly good curry, yet with a good quality curry powder, the result is still good.

now lets start;

you will need
curry powder for meat, preferably Indian curry powder.
Coconut milk, but this can be replaced by sour cream
1 onion. whatever type is fine, usually I just go with the cheapest one
and of course, Chicken. *breast, tigh, drumstick. All are fine.

1. first, cut potatoes, tomatoes, carrot, and onion into small pieces
2. add oil into saucepan, stir it on medium heat until become brownish
3. put the chicken inside and stir.
4. while the chicken become white on the outside.(cooked on the outside but raw inside), add the curry powder and appropriate amount of water to dissolve it.
5.Add the potatoes,tomatoes, and carrot.
6. Add water until it covers all the ingredients
7. Add coconut milk or sour cream to thicken the curry
8. Add more curry powder if it appears "diluted"
9. Stir to mix well.
10.cover, and let it simmer on med-low heat for 40 minuetes, test chicken.
11. If curry run dry, add some water.
12. add salt and sugar for tasting.
13. Serve with rice.

how to sweeten sour oranges

I don't like sour oranges, Most of them usually end up in fridge. I came across this nice little tip that promise to reduce the sourness in oranges. The trick is to induce the production of juice in oranges so that the soury taste can be reduced through dilution before you actually eat them. Place the orange inside a container and shake it hard. The impact which the sour orange suffers will lead to production of juice inside, which will then reduce the sourness of the fruit.

I don't actually know if it works, but I guess the orange will become very watery or juicy. Not actually turning the orange from sour to sweet, but just reduce the level of sourness so it is bearable.

Friday, May 25

how to get the most out of pizza deal

As a college student, pizza is one of the essential survival food source. There's often pizza deal around the neightbourhood, and it become kinda hard to decide which one gives the best deal, until I came across this article on consumerist today.

It appears that the problem can be solved by using some simple geometry by calculating the total surface area of the pizza. Using the equation Area=pi*radius^2.

so for 2 medium 8inch pizza, the total area is 2 * pi* 4^2 = 32*pi inch square
for 1 large 12 inch pizza, the area is pi *6^2 = 36pi inch suqre
the difference : 36pi - 32pi = 4pi inch square , approximately 12 inch square , that is equivalent to an extra 4 inch pizza! ( if u wonder how i got it, that is square root of 4 for radius)

a nice trick if u cant make up your mind. :)

Thursday, May 24

how to soften rice using sake

There are times when I added not enough water while cooking rice ( I'm a cooking noob anyways :p) , the rice become hard and "raw". Raw rice is harder, smaller, and whiter than the properly cooked rice. A nice little tip to save myself from that situation is by adding some sake.
Use a chopstick or fork to make small holes on the rice, put a few drops of sake into it.
Contine to steam the rice for a while. The uncooked rice will become softer.

Please share your experience if you happened to find this tips useful.

how to cut a cake using dental floss

I saw this real nice trick on how to cut a cake easily thru Lifehacker.
If you haven't known lifehacker, lifehacker is a webblog that introduce useful tips that makes your *multi aspect* of life easier, from dealing with crayon drawing on wall to preventing spyware in your PC.

If you've ever had to slice a piece of cheesecake, you know it can be a bit messy. RealSimple has a way to get around this little problem - simple dental floss:
Use unwaxed, unflavored floss to slice any soft cheeses, layer cakes, or homemade cinnamon buns from a roll.
All you do is hold the floss tightly between two fingers and bear down with just a bit of pressure; the floss will slice cleanly through most any soft cake or pastry. — Wendy Boswell
Unexpected New Uses for Bathroom Items [RealSimple via DIYHappy]


Saturday, April 21

How to prevent overflowing while cooking noodle

Add some butter of oil into the boiling water while cooking noodle will prevent overflowing.

Wednesday, April 18

9 habits that save money and time cooking

Below tips don't really coherent with Principles of lazy recipe, in fact some of takes extra work. Yet the extra work invested worth the time and money saved in the future.

1. Plan meals at least a week in advance to incorporate the use of leftovers. you then can cook more (save time) and since you have well planned meal, you won't waste food (save money)

2. If you know you're not going to have time to cook one evening, prepare two dinners the night before and just reheat one the next night. During Tuesday and Thursday, I will be having lab classes until 9pm. I won't have the energy to prepare my dinner. I prepare 2 dinners during Monday and Wednesday, then I reheat them after I came back from class. Generally cook multiple meals at a time is time-saving. Less cleanup needed.

3. When preparing a meal using grated cheese, chopped onions, etc., prepare more than the recipe calls for and refrigerate the rest for another meal. By using this method you will be able to save lots of time. But you'll have to plan your future meals in order to use up the extra ingredient.

4. Clean your kitchen workspace as you go. Save time. Multitasking is the key. Try to clean up bench top, wash some dishes etc while waiting for your soup to be cooked. When you're done with your dinner there will be little left to clean. If you have greasy pans to be cleaned, consider this effortless method.

5. On grocery shopping day, have your children help individually wrap their cookies, snacks, etc., for their lunches. Makes lunch preparation for the rest of the week a breeze and snacks don't disappear before lunches are made.

6. Don't hide your cookbooks away. Organize them where you can get to them easily, and you will use them a lot more: I don't usually use cookbook, in fact I don't own any cookbook. I use google and my cookbook software - Yum most of the time. But this is a good tip.

7. Keep a notepad on the front of the refrigerator for your shopping list. When you run out of something write it on the list right away. Encourage family members to do the same. Plan your grocery list according your meal plan, then you won't spend too much on unnecessary stuff. (save time and money). I use thethriftshopper for meal planing and grocery shopping.

8. Prepare favorite beverages like lemonade, tea, or Kool Aid in gallon-sized pitchers, and you won't have to make them as often. Same reason as cook more on tip2. Save time and money. Less cleaning needed which is always a good thing.

9. Use a suitable kitchenware. Before I go for class, I just put all the ingredients needed into the cooker. I then can enjoy a delicious dinner after class. I use non-stick pan to cook, so I don't have to spend too much time cleaning.

What's your special habit? Share them in comments. :)

Another Chicken Recipe: Chicken Fried Rice

This is another chicken recipe. I had some left over rice that I kept in the fridge, I wondered what I can do with them. Since I have cooked chicken soup, it is obviously chicken fried rice. :). Fried rice is a common easy way to finish any left over rice. You can combine with other available ingredient, or other left over you have to create a variety of fried rice.

This chicken recipe of fried rice is a simple one. Like most of Chinese fried rice recipe, they are all pretty similar. The only difference is the ingredient. The process are same. So once you have a good mastering of the fried rice way, you can add whatever ingredient you like in your fried rice.

What you need is 1 bowl of left over rice ( mom said overnight rice is best for fried rice), cooking another bowl of rice is contradictory to the Principle of Lazy Recipe. One or two eggs, depend on your liking. and ingredients such as chicken breast strip, or green beans, or tomatoes, depends on what you have in your fridge. For my case, I have plenty of chicken soup. I will be using chicken meat and some skin (for chickenish flavor) for my chicken fried rice recipe.

Cost: 0.50--1.00
Easiness: 3/5 (needs some practice for perfection)
laziness: 4/5
time required: 5min.

Summarize the ingredient
A bowl of Rice (left over or freshly cooked is fine)
Eggs ( 1 or 2)
Chicken meat and skin from left over chicken soup.( or other ingredients such as broccoli, cauliflower, corn, etc. ( A lazy way is to use canned beans, they are nice and cooked)
soy sauce

1. On heated pan, heat oil enough to fry egg. Turn heat to medium.( to prevent burn)
2. While eggs are half way done, put rice into it.
3. stir and press the rice so they are kinda separated. You don't want the rice to stick and lump together.
4. add your ingredients.( You might want to cook your ingredient first before adding into fried rice. Since my chicken is already cooked, I can just add them into it.)
5. If the rice is too dry for your liking, you may add a little bit of water.
6. Stir the rice. Mix them well, make sure the eggs and ingredients are cooked. Continue doing step 3 to separate rice.
7. Add 1 or 2 packet of soysauce for taste. Add some salt as well. Add pepper if you will.
8. Stir.
9. serve.

It is best to use a non-stick pan. I bought one from Chinese supermarket for $6.99 on sale. They are not extremely good quality, but still good for daily use. The reason for that is fried rice tend to stick to the pan if they are burnt. It is too much work to clean them. Add more oil can prevent the sticky situation, but that is not a healthy way to do.

That's it for my another chicken recipe. Stay tuned for additional chicken recipes. :)
Here for chicken soup recipe that I made day before. Chicken soup Recipe

Tuesday, April 17

How to chop chili without feeling hot and pain

While chopping chilli, hold the chilli using fingertip, instead of using finger nails. Pressing chilli surface using finger nails will induce feeling of hotness and pain. Washing hands using a little bit of vinegar to reduce pain.

How to Cook and Eat an Artichoke

Elise on SimplyRecipes put up a step by step guide with woderful pictures on how to prepare and enjoy an arthichoke. I never had arthichoke before, in fact never seen one before until I came to California, her post indeed is very helpful. Maybe I will try it out of curiosity. :p

How to cook and eat an artichoke

SUPER EASY!: How to determine if microwaved food is cooked

Microwave is very convenient, but sometimes it just happends that the food maybe not thoroughly cooked or completely reheated.
A simple tip to check if the food is good to eat is to touch the bottom of the food container. If it is hot, then the food is probably thoroughly heated and good to eat.

SUPER EASY!: Effortless garlic skin removal

This is another tips for garlic skin removal.
1. Remove the root part of the garlic.
2. Nuke them using microwave for 6 seconds.
3. Garlic skin will automatically peeled off.

SUPER EASY!: Squeeze more lemon juice

Summer is just few months away ( in SoCal), and I guess kids and moms will start busy making lemonade. This tips is especially useful for people who makes lots of lemonade. SO, How to squeeze more volume of juice from lemon? Just warm it using luke warm water before squeezing. The amount of juice will increase drastically.

SUPER EASY!: Prevent teary eyes while cutting onion

Ways I used while cutting onion to prevent teary eyes:

1. Cut the onion in half. Soak the half-onion in cold water for few seconds before cuttig.
2. If you are already "crying non-stop", try open the freezer and cool your face for a while. The tear will then stop.
3. While cutting onions, try lit a candle beside the board to reduce the stimulating smell.

Monday, April 16

S0000o Lazy: Chicken Soup Chinese Style

Chicken is pretty cheap compared to other types of meat. I just bought few pounds of chicken thigh for 0.99/lbs from Ralphs. Chicken soup is one of the simplest dish I cooked regularly when I am too busy studying.(blogging? :D )

Total Cost: Approx. $2.00
Laziness: SOOOOo (4/5)
Time: 25min

Chicken thigh/ drumstick ( I don't use breast as they tend to become hard and they are relatively expensive)
Carrot (1 - 2 stick)
Potatoes (1 large)

Depend on your preference, you can change the amount of potatoes/ carrots used. Scroll down for the Lazy version.

Here's the step:
1. Defrost chicken, wash, and cut them into appropriate bite size.
2. Boil water
3. While waiting water to boil, peel, clean, cut for carrot and potatoes.
4. After water is boiled, put carrots, potatoes, and chiken in.

5. Bring to boil and turn down heat to simmer ( that is boil in a smaller degree)
6. Wait 20 minuetes, test for chicken. Simmer for an hour if you like.
7. Add salt and sugar in ratio of 1 to 1.25.
8. Add 2 packet of soy sauce you got from PandaExpress
9. Serve a person for 4 meals.

Lazy version:
1. Defrost chicken, wash them
2. Boil water.
3. Put chicken in
4. Add sugar, salt, and soy sauce.
5. Serve.

Related Reading
Chicken Rice Soup

SUPER FAST!: How to defrost meat

It is always a problem when coming to defrosting meat.

Using microwave is convenient and fast. The con of microwave method is that some parts of the meat will be cooked while some other part are still raw or icy.

Using hot water soaking is another way, but due to the prolonged period of water contact, the meat losses its original flavor.

My solution to this situation is to place meat into a plastic bag and put the bag into hot water.

Another method I used pretty often is to place meat on a iron pan while having another smaller pan stacking on it. The metal pan provide a good heat conduction and pressure necessary to speed up the defrosting process. Sometimes, I add hot water on the top pan to speed up the process. Usually it only takes 10 minuetes to defrost 1 lbs of chicken breast.

SUPER CLEAN!: How to wash oily pans effortlessly

Greasy pans? no problem.
The secret is pretty simple. Place your oily pans into the fridge overnight. The oil and grease will solidfy. Just use a paper towel to wipe the oil away next morning. Clean and simple.

Sunday, April 15

SUPER FAST!: How to peel bunch of garlic in seconds

Below is an easy way peeling garlic that I saw in a chinese website. Very fast and effective. Besides, it prevents your hand smells like garlic. The sequence is from upper left corner to the right, then 2nd row, and then 3rd row.

1st row.
1. Use a 500ml plastic cup and a whole garlic.
2. peel of the outer skin and separate the garlic cloves.
3. Put the garlic cloves into the cup and closed the cap.

2nd row.
4. Shake hard and fast.....up and down.
5. Shake harder...
6. When you opened the cap, all the garlic cloves are peeled~!

3rd. row.
7. Separate garlics from the skin.
8. Super fast! All garlics are peeled.

SUPER EASY!: How to cut onions

I forgot where did I saw the original post. I used this tips frequently to prevent smelly hands and tearful eyes. now, lets start.

1. Peel the outer skin of onion. Don't throw all the outer skin away, use them to hold the onion.
2. Cut the onion in half.
3. Cut radially from the root of the onion while keeping the root intact to the onion.
4. Cut perpendicularly to the initial cuts(step 3) until reaching the root. Flip the onion if needed.
5. Discard the root and outer skin.
6. While cutting onion, try not to position the onion directly below your eyes. This prevent teary eyes.

I believe there are some other ways to prevent teary eyes, such as peel the onion under running water tap, but that is just a waste of water.

share your onion cutting tips in the comment. :D

Simple Recipes for Lazy People

This blog is committed to share simple recipes for lazy people. Cooking is never been so easy and simple~!
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