Mocktail: LIMEade with MINT

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

picture credit to fine living

ok first of all the above picture is not mine coz i haven't taken any picture of my Limeade with Mint...coz i'm not in the mood bla bla...but this picture is the closest as it get to describing the drink to you....well actually it look the same minus the crushed ice...BUt i promise i'll replace it with my own picture SOON...just don't hold your breath for it...=P

i just want to share this recipe with you all because its a GREAT pick me up, it soothe my sore throat and actually made me feel less tired than i should be...

i was actually downing with a fever when i feel the first sore throat coupled with fatigue (i only get fever when i have sore throat and fatigue), the flu already got my children and i can't afford to be sick as well so that is why i came up with this pick me up and it was all based on midwives stories such as lime/lemon helps with flu or sore throats or something like that ...i add in mint just because i have that laying around. then today i actually feels better and it probably because of the drink coz i've been drinking it all day yesterday. then it all make sense...

lemon/lime they contain high vitamin C and what does vitamin C do? they help to boost our immune system right? and as for the so happen that MINT have some serious healing properties such as it can soothes IBS, colic or anything to do with stomach pain/discomfort, it soothes asthma, sinus congestion, headaches and get this even coughs, sore throats and fever!

so what a combo! my pick me up became my very own home remedy...its delicious too!!
i get hubby to buy loads of lime and an extra bottle of honey yesterday so that i can keep making this 'mock-tail' as i dressed it up (otherwise hubby and the kids wouldn't even wanna try especially when there's some green bits floating around) anyway enough blabbering here's my version of LIMEADE / LIME MOCK-TAIL with mint

5 large limes that is soft to touch (the hard ones has hardly any juice)
lime zest from 3 of the above limes
honey / brown sugar to taste
1 sprigs of fresh mint finely sliced
cold water and ice (1/2 jug)
optional: 2cans of sparkling water /7ups/sprite (i use sparkling water for that mock-tail feel minus the guilt)
  1. combine lime juice, mint, ice and some water, sugar/honey then blend it until the mint is fine.
  2. transfer the mixture into a jug, pour in the sparkling water and ready to serve!

for that mock-tail feel, serve in a tall glass or a fancy glass. before pouring the drink, wet the rim of the glass and dip it into white or brown sugar then carefully pour in the drink, garnish it with a lime twist and mint leaves.

and Now you have your gourmet drink!
Be healthy, Stay Healthy, Enjoy!

Herbs: Dried vs Fresh

Monday, March 8, 2010

this is such a topic to write about. i'm sure this entry will be somewhat useful to my readers or those chef wannabes (no puns intended)

herbs derives from leaves of plant and they gives great contribution to our cooking as well as medicine. to point which is better dried or fresh is very much debatable because it depends on what type/king of cooking/dish you are making. but one thing for sure, dried herbs tends to have STRONGER flavor than fresh herbs. so when cooking, with fresh herbs we tend to have to use more; the ratio would usually be 1 table spoon of fresh herbs to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

although the type of cooking you're doing is also a major factor in determining the out come of a dish with herbs. for example; if you're cooking stews or soups or any dish that requires longer hour of cooking, add herbs in the beginning may cause lost of flavors so many cooks/chef would reasonably advice to add herbs towards the end of the cooking for maximum flavor. but if you're making chilled dish perhaps putting the herbs early is a good idea as it will slowly incorporate its flavor to the dish.

so dried or fresh? to me both are equally wonderful although dried herbs are very convenient especially to us Malaysian where fresh herbs such as tarragon, oregano, sage just to name a few are hard to find.

Fresh herbs is wonderful but i find it hard to keep it fresh for longer than a week. i suppose its due to our climate. i love fresh herb but they're expensive and hard to keep (do you have the same problem?) i remember when i was in the UK i used to keep my herbs clean (cut the stems,clean damaged leaves) and in a glass, it lasted for weeks but i can't do that here it wittered just within 2-3hours. for my love of fresh herbs i grow my own (i have anna olson to thank for that)

dried herbs are exceptionally convenient and a lot cheaper than fresh herbs. plus when you buy fresh herb you have to buy in stalk or a bunch while you only need some. and keeping it is a bitch (opps pardon my french =D )...unless you grow your own herbs then that's fine. but when buying dried herbs look for ones that still have color in it. i mean the green color on dried herbs still look fresh and not brownish. brownish herbs means 'old' or stale herbs which may have less flavor(so you won't get your money worth) if you so happen to have stale herbs, its still usable only you would probably need more than the recipe required. to release the aroma and flavor of herbs rub the dried herbs between your hands or grind them before you toss in your dish. to check if your herb is fresh when you rub with your fingers you should smell a rather strong aroma otherwise its time to throw out your stash.

so dried or fresh...i suppose its a matter of taste...

hope this entry is useful for you. happy cooking!

carrots: how to choose

i'm backkk... (imitating oprah) =D

firstly i'd like to apologize to my fellow followers/readers on me not updating my blog. as you know i take pictures with my camera phone, and by now i have one too many food pictures that i'd like to share with you all but yet again i'm having problem transferring the pictures. i have the usb cables and everything only that my husband's laptop did not accept my transfer and i've tried so many times on configuring the laptop but still failed (argh...roll eyes)

but i've manage to borrow a camera from my parents and will see from there (which also means that i have to start cooking and baking all over again) so mean while, i'd like to entertain you with my tips and just a few things that i've learn over the years about choosing fresh ingredients accompany by pictures i've gathered from the net (don't worry i shall put the link on where i get the picture from) and some from my picture bank, and this time to subject of the matter is carrot! yes CARROT...

why carrot? its simply because its the most neglected vegetables from now on, no more taking this vegetable for granted ok? right...i say neglected because we always 'choose' our carrots simply by the fact that as long as it has no rotten parts and they'll make their way to our kitchen and most of us...well at least us Malaysian, we tend to choose a very huge and plump carrots that sometimes to me they can actually pass for cucumber if only they are green...(then again who could blame them, they usually only sell huge plump carrots)

the french, they basically hate unreasonably huge ingredients. because to them, the bigger the ingredients are the less taste it will have. And i find this especially true, i can't remember the countless times that we ordered something that is huge like huge garoupa fish for family dinner, huge squid for bbq etc and all of these was basically tasteless and rather chewy which was horrible and not to mention expensive. so from those unforgivable mistake for a foodie like me, i learn i'd rather order several fish or squid of what ever than having just one huge ingredients... with that, we tend to appreciate the food better

so the same principle applies to carrots. the bigger they are the lesser the taste will be and if you are unfortunate it'll be bitter if not any. i used to pick big carrots because...lets face it we think that its value for money. but we sacrifice the taste and probably the nutritional value as well in the process.

the french carrot: this is how carrot should be thin, slim and rather petite in size. this type of carrot is always sweet and have such great flavor. as the french chef say " this is how carrot should taste .."

just a comparison, find the regular large malaysian carrot, the slim petite carrot , taste it and you know that there are such a difference in the taste. the petite carrots tends to taste sweet and have that significant 'carrot' flavor rather than the larger carrots. with this type of carrots you'll make a very tasty stew or soup with its natural sweetness and all...this i assure you.

what about baby carrots? ones that are sold ready to eat carrot in a packet? ahhh~ that to me is the genius of marketing. most of them are just large/full grown carrots cut and made into 'baby' carrots and market it/ sell it as 'baby carrots' altho some of it maybe actually young carrots and probably taste just as sweet but generally to me nothing is better than the slim carrots.

why is the slim carrots are so tasty?? hmmm....why? well simply because it is not a mature carrots! its YOUNG carrots. Hans they are slim...(wink) so again this slim carrots are the sweetest of them all! and if you want a longer lasting carrots choose those that still have some green in it.

this is roughly how our carrots look like...but i think we all know that the carrots sold in our markets are a bit larger than this right? (pictures are just for viewing purpose only)

there are also some other pointers on what to avoid in choosing carrots (other than what i've been blabbering about):-
  1. blemishes or cracks (which most large full grown usually carrots have)
  2. flabby, rubbery or soft
  3. sunburn green at the top (this one always have a special appearance in the market so becareful)
  1. rather than anything else wrap carrots using bubble wrap the small kind of bubble wrap as this will ensure freshness and prevent it from being rotten
  2. never NEVER use plastic bag to store your carrots or other vegetables...for God sake! this will rote your vegetables in no time
it is best to consume your carrots within 1-2 weeks after purchasing it for the best nutritional and taste value.

p/s: this is just the general rule on how to pick a better tasting carrot.