Tag Archive | food

4 Easy Steps: Banana Muffins Even Toddlers Can Bake

Banana Muffins Even Toddlers Can Bake

“Baking is how you start kids at cooking in the kitchen. It’s fun whether it’s baking bread or cookies. With baking, you have to be exact when it comes to ingredients.” ~Sandra Lee

My daughter is now three years old and she loves spending time with me. One of the activities she enjoys doing with me, of course, aside from playing, is baking. I would like to share with you a photo of my little moppet and I while baking.

Joanna & I baking

Joanna is in charge of mixing up the dry ingredients and I mix up the wet ones. She’s one little happy baker.

Writing out this first-ever recipe that she has tried is worth-doing. Maybe some moms would agree with me so here is the recipe that we have customized.

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp custard powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
1/3 cup of oil
1 large egg
3 big bananas or 6 small ones

Instructions:
1. Mix up all the dry ingredients.
2. Mix up all wet ingredients (whisked egg, mashed bananas and oil).
3. Scoop them up into the muffin tray.
4. Pre-heat the oven and set  it up to 190°C (375 °F).  Bake for 12 minutes.

Now, you can either print this recipe out or get a pen and recipe card and jot down this simple recipe. Please try it with your toddler. 🙂 I promise that this will be such a fulfilling experience not only for you, but most especially for your toddler who enjoys adventure at this stage.

What activities do you enjoy with your toddler? Please share it with me so my daughter and I can try it as well. Thanks in advance! 🙂

Banana Muffins

What Life is Like in Bangladesh Part 1

“Are you really in Bangladesh now?!?”

“What are you doing there? What is life like over there?”

I know. It’s a little fascinating at times that most of the new people I meet always get shocked, or I should say, excited when I tell them that I am living in Bangladesh! I really would love to give them a detailed answer but normally, we just have a limited time so I can’t really elaborate my answer.

Considering the aforementioned situation, I had a meeting with me, myself and I in the conference room of my brain and I concluded that it would be interesting to write out my answers so I can also give a much better thoughtful response using a good chunk of time.

Now, it’s finally here. The answer to the top FAQs of every person I meet the first time, after mentioning that I live here in Bangladesh, a beautiful green pasture. Green Bangladesh “Wait, did you say ‘Green Pasture?!?'”

Yes, you heard it right. Bangladesh is literally covered with green meadows especially in the rural areas, but this isn’t what the world considers to be a so-called “greener pasture.”

Alright, enough beating around the bush since I don’t want to make you wait too long. 🙂

1. Why do you live in Bangladesh?

This is the top question I am asked in any first time conversation. Well, I came here first of all because my husband is a local of this country and I am here to support him in his desire to do his share in penetrating this nation with the seed of the gospel. That was the theme of our sacred union anyway–to join as lights together for Christ. 

2. What’s the general flavor of Bangladeshi food?

Bangladeshi food is generally hot and spicy. The main spices present in every dish here are onions, garlic, plain cumin powder, plain turmeric powder, plain chili powder. bay leaves and garam masala, a fragrant blend of ground spices used in Indian cuisine, often containing black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, and turmeric.

I have learned to cook local Bangladeshi dishes and they are pretty simple and easy.

Watch out for some recipes I would share with you in the future.

Now, I have to debunk the myth that Bangladeshis, just like Indians, eat just chicken curry everyday. I would say that it might be true for other families but not for ours and the other Bangladeshi families I know.

We have what we call “Daal” or Lentil soup, “Shak” or sautéed greens, “Alu Vorta” or mashed potatoes, “Daal Vorta” or mashed lentils and many more for lunch and dinner.

Bangladeshi Food

upper left: Fish Curry; upper right: alu vorta (mashed potato with fried onions and mustard oil) lower left: crab curry; lower right: sautéed water spinach (kangkong)

Daal Vorta

Daal Vorta–mashed lentils in mustard oil and chopped onions

normal Bangladeshi combo meal

Here’s a typical Bangladeshi set of meal: chicken curry and shak (any vegetable tops). Chicken curry can be replaced with fish, shrimp, crab or assorted veggie curry.

Fried eggs and boiled fish with greens. See? These dishes don't have so much spices.

Fried eggs, boiled tomatoes and boiled fish with greens. See? These dishes don’t have so much spices.

In our family, we usually prepare Biryani (see photo below) and fried aubergine when we have guests at lunch or dinner. If we serve Pulao rice, we pair it with chicken or beef curry.

biryani

Yummy Biryani-a mixture of steamed aromatic rice, meat, spices , potatoes and other optional vegetables.

I hope I didn’t make you drool by showing these mouthwatering dishes. Please come and visit us sometimes and I’ll be more than willing to cook these dishes for you.

3. Describe Bangladeshi people.
Bangladeshis are beautiful people in and out if you get to know them deeply.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

These are friendly college girls I met years ago in the village and I praise God for the privilege to share the gospel with them. They were quite receptive to the gospel. They did not outwardly profess faith in Jesus Christ right there and then, but I was thrilled to hear them ask questions about God.

Generally, their generosity is displayed when someone visits their house. They wouldn’t come to your house empty-handed. If you invite them for lunch or dinner, they will give your household some sweets in return.

Bangladeshi sweets come in different shapes and colors. They also have varied flavor but the main ingredients of these sweets are milk and sugar.

Bangladeshi sweets come in different shapes and colors. They also have varied flavors but the main ingredients of these sweets are milk and sugar.

They are also very hospitable. Take a look at the caption of the photo. While coffee is popular in the US or in the Philippines, tea is the common drink served to their guests.

Bangladeshis are so hospitable that they offer and serve whatever they can despite their poverty. Sometimes, that's all they have.

Bangladeshis are so hospitable that they serve whatever they can despite their poverty.

People here are creative. Their love for arts is depicted in their folk dances, music and clothing. (I’ll talk about clothing later.)

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Part of any program intermission is either a folk song or any traditional dance number.

4. What’s the primary religion of people over there?

Approximately ninety percent of the people here are Muslims, most of them though are just nominal ones. In the village where I stayed, people are mostly Hindus. It is said that around 8-9% of her population is Hindu. Only a little percentage of people are Christians, Buddhists and of other religion. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I learned later that you can tell a person’s religion in this country by his or her name. No wonder my husband’s name has a Christian influence.

It’s our earnest prayer that we could reach a few of these unsaved souls with the gospel.

Alright, I guess these would be all for now since I know that you might need to run an errand after reading this but please consider praying for us as we continue to stay here and shine as lights together for Christ.

Watch out for the next part of this post.

With love,
Nance

Empanada Crust–Choose Your Own Filling!

Have you ever had that craving that you can’t resist? Well, I’ve had that many times. It’s been our custom as a family to have our “Friday Food Feast” since Friday is like Sunday to us in Bangladesh. That’s the time, we enjoy sumptuous food with our family and friends.

One Friday, I craved for “Empanada“–“a Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover filled with a variety of savoury ingredients and baked or fried.”

“Where can I get a recipe?”–That was one of my questions and then I suddenly remembered something!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my father loves cooking and he used to buy cook books from National Bookstore. Fortunately, my mom carefully kept one of them so I decided to bring it here in Dhaka so I pulled it out and looked for the recipe.

Cookbook

ALING CHARING’S FILIPINO & FOREIGN RECIPES by Rosario Fabian One of the priceless legacies of my father!

I found the recipe and tried it out. As almost everyone does, they try a recipe and post it on Facebook. 🙂 I did that too and one of my cousins asked me about the recipe for the crust only! So…let me share with you the recipe for the crust only from this book. 🙂 You can decide as to which filling you would like to put. You may put cooked tuna or any left over you have in your fridge. In my case, I used chicken curry.

Recipe for Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour (no sifting)
1 tsp. fine salt
6 tbsp. water
2/3 cup butter or margarine (chilled)
2 tbsp. white sugar

Mix sugar, salt, and flour. Cut in butter using a blender or 2 knives until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle water and mix well with hand to form a ball. Knead lightly. Sprinkle flour on a board and roll out dough into 1/4″ thick. Cut using a round cutter (a medium sized saucer can be used if there is no molder. Place saucer up-sde down on dough and cut with a knife.) Then, fill each cut dough with 2 tbsp. of sauteed fillings. Fold dough to form a half moon, press one end to the other. Brush with egg yolk or milk. Arrange on a grease baking sheet. Bake at preheated oven until crust is golden brown.

There you go! The book did not specify the amount of time and temperature needed for this recipe but I set our oven to 190°C and baked the empanada for around 15 minutes. I followed my nose and turned it off when I smelled that it was done.

11035973_10206772277490567_7921763128430040771_o

Here’s my very first empanada–and my guests appreciated it so much. Credits to the author of the cookbook! 🙂

Make your family happy with this empanada, and as I said, just choose your own filling! Of course, remember to thank God for this blessing before posting it on Facebook! Let me know if you succeeded in trying this one out.

Love, Nance

My Homemade Saturday Delight

My kind of caramel pudding. 🙂

Making your family happy is as easy as putting together some ingredients in a pan and mixing them up delightfully with love and passion. I believe that it’s innate among women to desire to serve their family as it is God’s primary for calling for women.

Last night, I had this urge within me to make sweets for my ever-sweet family and thought that I should make custard pudding and so I searched the web and found this:

If you don’t have the time to watch this video or if your speed is too slow that it prevents you from watching this quick tutorial, then let me list down the ingredients and procedures for you.

Ingredients: 

Caramel: 

40 g sugar
(1/3 cup) sugar
1 tbsp water

Custard:

3 eggs 300 ml
liquid milk
60 g (1/2 cup) sugar

Materials:

pan or cups
a big pan
a piece of clean cloth or paper towels

Part of being a self-declared chef of your home is improvising procedures.

The recipe on the video called for cups but since I have no cups exactly on the video, then I just used whatever is available in my home–a pan.

Procedures:
1. Dilute the sugar with water.
2. Make the liquid warm for two minutes. Whisk the eggs  and add up the milk and sugar. You may add salt to balance the taste. I added a few drops of lemon. You can also add a little lemon zest.
3. Lay a piece of cloth or paper towels on a big pan. Fill it up with water.
4. Place the caramel on a small pan then pour your custard mix.
5. Place the small pan into the big pan filled with water and let it steam on low fire for 25-40 minutes.

You should get something like this at the end:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Enjoy serving your family! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. I am open to suggestions too! 🙂 Have a happy weekend! Believe me, it’s ineffably fulfilling to serve your family and do it as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)