Ayam Masak Merah (Sweet & Spicy Chicken)

~ Posted on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 8:21 AM ~

For this post, I am sharing my next food recipe, Ayam Masak Merah (Sweet & Spicy Chicken). This is one of my favorite dishes that my late mum used to cook. Whenever she cooked this dish last time, my hubby (then boyfriend) will eat loads of it! Funny thing my brother does not remember my late mum making this dish, I think because he stays away from us and this dish is not regularly made.

I have tried about half a dozen times making this dish since last year and I finally nailed it! Finally able to get the correct taste as how my late mum made it. I am so so so happy with the latest attempt and I even made extras to be given away to my brother in law and 2 sister in laws to try. They all sang praises of the sweet and spiciness of the chicken and loved it! Yay! So without further ado, here is the recipe for Ayam Masak Merah (Sweet & Spicy Chicken):

Ingredients:
* Chicken thighs (quantity up to you)
* Garlic (about 3 cloves slice thinly)
* Oil (about 3 tbsp for frying chicken)
* 2 stalks of lemongrass
* Star anise & cardamom pods

Marinades
* Turmeric powder (about 3-4 tbsp)
* Sriracha chili sauce (about 1 tbsp)
* Salt and pepper

To blend:
* Half cup of chili sauce
* 3 tbsp of tomato sauce
* 2 red tomatoes, deseeded
* 5 small chili padi, deseeded and slice thinly (in English it is called 'bird's eye chili pepper')
* 1 tsp of Brown sugar
* 3 red onions slice thinly
* Salt & white pepper 


Methods:  

* Marinade the chicken thighs with the marinade ingredients listed above. I usually mix the chicken with the marinade with my hands. Let it sit for at least 1 hour.
* In the meantime, blend all the ingredients listed in the 'To Blend' section. If you want a smooth puree look, you can blend until smooth. I would try not to blend until so smooth the next time I attempt this dish. I think a chunkier sauce/gravy would look nicer ;)
* In a heated wok, add oil. Start frying the chicken.
* Once all the chicken are fried, put the chicken aside and reduce the amount of oil. I left about 1 tbsp of oil.
* Add the star anise & cardamom pods, the blended ingredients and wait till it starts boiling a bit, add back the fried chicken and lemongrass, gently toss them to ensure the gravy/sauce covered them until all are cooked. You can add more sugar and/or salt if you want it to be sweeter/saltier etc.


Outcome:

Ayam Masak Merah

This recipe is definitely for keeps!

To view my other recipes, feel free to hop over to my Recipe Library page for more info!

My Personal Tips for Buying Products via iHerb

~ Posted on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 6:10 AM ~

I stumbled upon this website a couple of years ago and have been a regular buyer ever since. On average, I will buy from iHerb once in every 2-3 months and I usually get chocolates and snacks for our kiddos and my hubby. I do get questions on and off either from friends or via PMs I received on my FB page on iHerb, so I think it is time to write down a proper blog post with tips and FAQs pertaining to this so that it is easier for me to direct you guys to this post as well hehehe...

Some of the things I can share based on my iHerb shopping experiences for more than 2 years :

* Trial Products - iHerb use to have a Freebies page but it has been discontinued sometime ago. But still, you can go check out the Product Trials page and try out some product(s) there at a cheaper price.

Do note that the discount is only for 1 item per order. Example below shown - I selected a baby shampoo & bath product for USD0.95 instead of the usual price of USD2.95

* Delivery timeframe - Delivery takes about 2-5 weeks for my case.

* Shipping fees - I always make sure the products I ordered have a total weight below 1.8kg as that will qualify for the lowest shipping charges available. It used to be a flat USD4 shipping fees lowest but based on my last purchase on 28 Dec 2014, it seems that the shipping fees varied based on your order amount and/or weight too. The recent purchases I made shows there is discounted 50% off for orders over USD20 but if your order is below USD20, then the shipping fees varies based on your total products weight.

* Shipping methods - Since I always aimed for the cheapest shipping fees, my package does not have tracking number provided. That is the risky part but so far, I never have any packages missing. Delayed yes, but no missing items. Based on some fans who shared their experience with me, they opted for the pricier shipping methods with tracking and ended up having to pay extra as their packages got held up in custom and you will need to pay extra for the courier company to pick up your parcel from custom and deliver to you. Some fans also shared that when they choose the pricier shipping methods, their package have invoice description as 'health supplements' when in fact they ordered baby food/snacks. From what I understand, if your package is indicated as health or medicinal products, custom have the right to hold your package and investigate further.

* Credit Card Payment - If your credit card is issued by Maybank, do note that you will get the following message when you submit your order.

What happens is Maybank blocks all online transactions using credit card especially if you are transacting in foreign currencies. Due to the high number of online fraud cases, the bank resorted to this action. Don't fret, you can still proceed with your order but you need to trouble yourself a wee bit. What you need to do is call up the Maybank Customer Service Center (1300 886 688 follow their instructions so that you can talk to the operator - I normally press 0 and choose whatever options that will lead me to operator)

The operator will ask some questions to verify you are the cardholder and is trying to use your credit card for legitimate online purchases. Once all the verification is done, don't forget to inform them to extend your credit card to the max 2 weeks limit (meaning open up your credit card for online purchases within 2 weeks period). If you don't mention this, you will need to call the Customer Service again and repeat the whole process.

Once the bank have uplift your credit card to allow online transaction, you just need to go back to your iHerb order screen, click the submit button again and you will see the following screen.


Some of my personal tips to share for you to take note if you are ordering first time:

* Make sure your total items are below 1.8kg so that you can choose the cheapest shipping methods available.

- Choose the most worth it to buy items if it is your first purchase since you can only use the referal code ONCE for your first purchase

- Try not to get the organic puffs for your first purchase as I personally think it is not worth it to get in your first purchase. iHerb measures the ordered items' weight based on the size of the products, not the actual weight and these organic puffs I got are quite large and long, it takes up space in the packaging box, if possible, you should only get these puffs in your subsequent orders :)


Now if you plan to purchase from the website, do copy my coupon code below to use for your first purchase, I repeat, ONLY FOR FIRST PURCHASE!

My coupon code is: FOZ116

Please note that I get a small bit of commission from your 1st purchase and subsequent ones and there are further commission range when the people you referred to with your own unique code started buying from iHerb too, so you save, I save, everybody save, yay! Do feel free to ask me if you have any questions with regards to purchasing from iHerb! Will try to share my feedback if I can! I'll be adding my product review feedback on my iHerb.com page at: http://www.iherb.com/mypage/imafulltimemummy

 

 ** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.

Book Review - Believe, Belong, Become

~ Posted on Friday, December 26, 2014 at 8:09 AM ~

I have been cutting down on doing product reviews ever since our 3rd kiddo came along in end of Sept 2013. I do still accept review pitches but only when time permits and if it is something that I can see it being useful and beneficial to our family. Also, as busy as I am with 3 kiddos, home cooking, taking care of hubby's administration site of the business and swamped up with managing my FB page and blog, I just can't say no to reviewing good books! Reading is my passion and coupled with books that are of parenting or religion or educational genre, all the more I gotta say yes!

Believe, Belong, Become

Title: Believe, Belong, Become
Author: Nick Vujicic
Illustrator: Dreamergo
Publisher: PMA Music Foundation
ISBN: 9789881278760
Paperback: 93 pages
 

Description from the product page:
"A story of faith on how Nick overcomes his limitations and gains strength through God."

I'm a full-time mummy

Firstly, this is the 3rd book from the 'Give Me a Hug' series but having been just able to review the 3rd one without the earlier 2 series, I don't think it matters which series you are reading on as it can be read on its own as well. I don't seem to see any continuation from previous series but I think it would be great to have collected all the books in this series!

Believe, Belong, Become

Okay, back to the review of "Believe, Belong, Become" - the illustration is very very nice. Soft, gentle yet comical illustrations coupled with pastel sweet and soothing color choices is very easy on the eyes. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 5.5 years old boy and 3 years old girl is just a wonderful delight!

I started off with a brief introduction to our 5.5 years old boy on who is Nick Vujicic and why he is born without limbs. Honestly, I have not been talking about people with physical disabilities with our kiddos as I just don't know how to approach this subject. So I'm very grateful to be able to touch on this subject through this book.

This book comes with 8 chapters, going from the time Nick was a young child, pondering and wondering on why he was born this way, to how he suffered the looks and questions etc from people who came across him to how he overcome and uses his disability in a positive way to bring people closer towards God.

Reading to our young kiddos, there are some instances where I rephrase the sentences in the book for easier understanding but I still make it a point to deliver the message of each chapter to our kiddos.

Our boy particularly enjoyed seeing the illustrations on how Nick was portraying himself as an alien (see picture below). Our boy asked me whether Nick was an alien or a monster and why he looked like that, so I used the opportunity that sometimes we tend to see something that does not look common or normal as something scary or creepy looking like how this girl in the book thought of when she saw Nick.

Believe, Belong, Become

As our boy started his pre-K this year, I also reminded him that just because Nick does not have hands or legs, it doesn't stop him from doing normal things like us. Nick can continue his studies, teaching and inspiring other people.

A chapter that struck my heart is chapter 5 page 52 '... make use of our abilities and experiences to light others' flame of hope!' It reminded me of the time that I learned to comfort and prayed for a stranger whose mum will be undergoing an operation while my own mum lies on her bed in ICU fighting for her life.

Believe, Belong, Become

I can see our boy especially being interested in this book as it touches on something different. I use the opportunity from this book to teach our kiddos to:

- Be grateful with what we have been blessed with.

- Not throw tantrum when things doesn't go your way or we are not like others. Just because whatever you wished for doesn't materialise, it doesn't mean the end of the world. We should pick up ourselves and move on and make the best of what we have.

- Not judge a book by its cover. We should not be influenced by first impressions or assumptions.

- Trust God in His purposes for our life.

- Make the best use with what we have to inspire and enrich other people's lives.

- Be patient when seeking answers or help for our worries, troubles and so on. That God answers our prayers no matter what, we just need to lean on him and trust on His will for us.

 

In summary, it is a very inspiring book with educational and moral values which can be instilled in our children. I can definitely see this book being read over and over and over again. Highly recommended and I hope I get to check out the other books in the series as well!!

I'm a full-time mummy

The book is available at all major bookstores. So far for Malaysia, only MPH Online carries the Chinese version.

I'm a full-time mummy

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"