Wednesday, 30 June 2010

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Light and Healthy Danish Egg Salad/Dansk Æggesalat/鸡蛋沙拉[jī dàn shā lā]


Serves 4

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
- 2 cooked eggs (120g)
- 1 cooked potato (100g) cut into small pieces
- 1 cooked carrot (100g) cut into small pieces
- ½ cup of cucumber cut into small pieces
- ¼ onion finely chopped
- ½ garlic pressed
- 100ml fromage frais 0.2% fat or Greek yogurt 0.1% fat
- A handful of cress (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cut cucumber into small pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then set aside.

2. Cut carrot and potato into small pieces and steam them or cook them with just enough water to over them for 10 minutes. Then drain and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then set aside and let it cool down.

3. Boil eggs in a small covered pot until water is brought to boil, turn off fire and let it sit for 15 minutes.

4. Peel eggs and chop them up finely.

5. Mix pressed garlic, salt and pepper into fromage frais.

6. Add all ingredients * (except garden cress) and mix well.

7. Rinse, cut and add garden cress to the salad.

8. Serve with rye bread or other bread.

* If cucumber exude juice, squeeze firmly to drain juice off first.

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Additional Information:
I made this for the first time for dinner today, and Daddy and J liked it. Danish potato salad is very light and don’t make you feel like you need to flush water down your intestines after eating it, yet delicious like Japanese potato salad, but without the Japanese mayonnaise. My favourite is Japanese potato salad and I am very happy that I have found a healthy alternative that tastes like Japanese potato salad.
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Garden Cress/Karse/独行菜[dú xíng cài]


Garden Cress is commonly found in the Danish supermarket. It is commercially grown in England, France, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In some regions, garden cress is known as garden pepper cress, pepper grass, pepperwort or poor man's pepper. Garden cress is considered as one of the species of the genus of the family of mustards. It is also eaten as sprouts, and the fresh or dried seed pods can be used as a peppery seasoning. In England and Denmark, cut cress shoots are typically used in sandwiches with boiled eggs, mayonnaise and salt.

Directions:
1. Rinse, cut and serve.

2. Add raw garden cress to salad and sandwiches or as garnish for soups.

Nutritional value:
Garden cress is a good source of iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A.

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Additional information:
I have seen this many times in the Danish supermarket, and I have always wandered to myself how it is eaten. I have never bought it as I am afraid that it would taste very raw like eating grass or raw bean spouts. Then I started taking an interest in cooking, and I saw that this is one of the ingredients called for in a Danish potato salad recipe. So, I decided to try it today after being 9 years in Denmark! It actually tastes very fresh and light.

Journal:
Today is the first time J (15M25D) was introduced to garden cress. No allergic reaction so far.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_cress

Monday, 28 June 2010

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Smiley Buns



Baking Smiley with the dough prepared the night before for J's daycare Grandparent's Day on 11.6.2010 using green peas and red capsium

Top: Before baking
Bottom: After baking
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Walnut Raisin Carrot Bread/Valnød Rosin Gulerod Brød/核桃葡萄干胡萝卜面包[hé táo pú táo gān hú luó bo miàn bāo]


Here is my walnut raisin carrot bread (baked for the first time on 25.4.2010)

Ingredients
- 20g yeast
- 250ml buttermilk (optional)
- 600ml cold water (if using buttermilk, reduce the proportion of water accordingly)
- 600g Graham flour
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 150g raisins
- 100g walnuts
- 4 grated carrots (optional)
- 100g spelt flakes (optional)
- 75g grinded flaxseeds (optional)
- 50g wheat germ (optional)
- 1.5 tsp salt (optional)
- 1 egg white or 50ml milk (optional for coating)

Directions:
1. Mix water and yeast together in a mixing bowl.

2. Stir in carrots, walnuts, raisins, flaxseeds, spelt flakes, wheat germ, graham flour and olive oil.

3. Knead it well into dough by hand or using a hand-mixer and leave it overnight (or at least 8 hours) in the fridge.

4. On a baking tray lay with baking paper, use half of the dough to form buns by using a spoon (can make about 24 buns) and the other half of the dough to form into a bread. Then cut a slit in the middle of the bread with a sharp knife.

5. Brush the bread and buns with milk or egg white and sprinkle them with the spelt flakes (optional)

6. Place the tray in the middle of a pre-warmed oven and bake for 12-15 mins. for the buns and 50 min. for the bread at 200°C in a pre-warmed oven.

References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_flour

http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhealthinformation/a/buttermilkhelth.htm

http://breadmantalking.blogspot.com/2010/06/simple-breads-part-2-whole-wheat-loaf.html

Saturday, 26 June 2010

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Accept the chicken and the duck


A marriage brings out the chicken and duck in both of us.

We come from two different backgrounds, from two different countries, with two different cultures and two different mother-tongues. Sometimes, we become like chickens and ducks. When communication hits a snag… when we just simply do not understand each other’s viewpoint… we go quack quack quack and chick chick chick with frustrations. The chicken could not find out how to go the duck’s way, and the duck could not find out how to go the chicken’s way... and I ask… why can’t that chicken just take to water like duck!!!

So who is the chicken and who is the duck in our case?

My Significant Other always jokes that I have flat duck feet… not very elegant, but I can swim very well :-)… so that makes me the duck. My Significant Other can’t really swim very well… so that makes him the chicken. J is like me, has duck feet, but he still can’t swim… so that make him a half-chicken-half-duck.

So what happens when the chicken and the duck fight? Guess which of us wins?

We both lose.

Here is a list of suggestions when a duck-and-chicken situation occurs:

1. Pray

I pour out to God in tears and ask God to turn me into a chicken so that I can understand why my Significant Other is like that. Sometimes, God turns my Significant Other into a duck. Sometimes, God puts situations into our lives, and Bingo, suddenly I could use that illustration, so that my Significant Other could finally “see the light”.

2. Run to God for counsel and comfort

Very often God deals with me, ouch! He points me to Philippians 2:4

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”- Philippians 2:4

3. Trust and wait patiently for Him

4. Give that chicken or duck a hug and forgive.
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Use a timer


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Practise couch time


Many a marriages drift apart because couples grow apart from each other unknowingly over the years... I must be on the watch... lest I fall.

In a busy everyday life, it is often hard to tune out the distractions... and for me they are Facebook, Friends, Favourite hobby, First baby, Food... how funny… they all start with the letter "F"! For others, it may be computer games, football, etc.

I must take time to invest, nurture and protect our marriage.

How?

One way of nuturing our marriage is to practise couch time as suggested by author Gary Ezzo in the book BabyWise.

Couch time – It is not about being a couch potato in front of the TV. It is about taking some time – 5-15 minutes daily to sit and talk with your spouse at the end of the day without the computer on, without the radio on, without the TV on, and no taking of phone calls. Thus, this time is sacred.

What do we do during couch time?

1. Gary Ezzo suggests discussing what is going on in the family and talk through the challenges or changes relating to the children.

2. Share about how the day go at work.

3. Gary Ezzo also suggests letting couch time provides a predictable forum for us to share our relational needs with each other.

This relational need is certainly very important to me. Many women’s love language is communication, and many men’s love language is activities. My Significant Other’s love tank is empty if we don’t go for a walk together in the forest or the lakes or play tennis together. My love tank is empty if we don’t get to just sit down and communicate.

3. Share items on your To-do list with each other

4. If not, just simply rest in each other's company.

But it is easier said than done. In a busy every day life, it is often hard to tune down the activities. So I try not to be so ambitious... just aim at 5 minutes a day. The most important is to have a plan.

For others, spending undisturbed time may be a once a month or once a week, but the important thing is to try to do it.
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Tuna Sandwich/Tun Sandwich/金枪鱼三明治 [jīn qiāng yú sān míng zhì]


Serves 4

Preparation Time: 20 - 30 minutes

Ingredients:
- 1 avocado sliced
- 4 - 8 pieces of lettuce
- 4 wholemeal pita bread

Filling:
- 1 can of tuna (140g)
- 150ml fromage frais 0.2% fat or Greek yogurt preferably 0.1% fat
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 TBS spring onions finely chopped
- 1 can of sweet corn (140g)
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- ½ lime squeezed (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix all filling ingredients together.
2. Serve with lettuce, avocado and bread.

Tips:
Add a handful of thawed frozen green peas to add more vegetables content.

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Additional Information:
This is very healthy (because the filling is made of tuna and fromage frais as main ingredients) and fast to make. It is quite an ideal food for picnic, although you have to keep it away from the sun. It is also ideal to make for lunch at work. I am probably going to make this sandwich for our next date to go kayaking.

Friday, 25 June 2010

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Tuna Salad/Tunsalat/金枪鱼沙拉[jīn qiāng yú shā lā]


Serves 4


Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
- 1 can of tuna (140g)
- 150ml fromage frais 0.2% fat
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 TBS spring onions finely chopped
- 1 can of sweet corn (140g)
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- ½ lime squeezed (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Serve with bread, avocado or cucumber.

Tips:
Add a handful of thawed frozen green peas to add more vegetables content.
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The United Nations Sushi/Forenede Nationer Sushi/联合国寿司[lián hé guó shòu sī]



I am wondering what best to call this... and so far, I have decided to call it "The United Nations Sushi", because it gathered the best and healthiest food from around the world.

It is:
1. Spread with healthy quinoa from South America (instead of sushi rice, which is not as healthy);

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=3312805&id=705043347

2. Filled with tuna salad from healthy Danish recipe;

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=4300763&id=705043347

3. Using as base for the tuna salad, the healthy fromage frais, created by the French;

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=4300585&id=705043347

4. And added healthy avocado, inspired by the US California roll;

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2479000&id=705043347

5. Then wrapped with nutritious sea-weed, sushi-style from the Japanese;

6. Which is put together by me, a Singaporean

7. Best eaten with chopsticks created by the Chinese

8. And made specially for Joshua, a Chinese-Danish-Singaporean
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