Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring - Nowruz - Persian New Year

Nan-e berenji by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis
Today is officially First Day of Spring ! But the weather just horrible , still cold, breezy, even we still expect to get more snow during this week ... eeeewww... last weekend was the second weekend without sunshine at all .

First Day of Spring mean is Nowruz, Persian New Year ! - The festival of Nowruz is celebrated by many groups of people in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, but particularly by Persians or various Iranian Peoples. It's the time to make new beginnings, realize dreams and reach new goals.

And this year,it's a first time for me to really try prepared several stuff to accommodate New Year celebrations like plant the wheat sprout representing rebirth .  I preparing to serve a good meal for dinner tonight too ; which is must to cook : Baqala polow (dill rice with fava beans) and smoked fish.

To honor my husband culture, today I bake Nan-e berenji (cardamom rice cookies) ; I never bake this cookies before, but after read the recipe, though is pretty easy to bake and since cardamom is become familiar spice to use at my household, I know I will like this type of cookies. Oh yeaah, I was right - this is a type of cookies that you wont to stop to eat, melt on your mouth and before you know you will keep hold the cookie jar for yourself  , don't ask me how my little one loves this cookies. She is doesn't mind with the aroma of rose water at all.  She loves the cookies as I do :)

Try to prepare some ingredients day a head, and keep in your mind that this cookies is so soft and easy to crumble so be careful when you transfer the cookies from tray to the jar.

Cardamom Rice Cookies - Nan-e Berenji
Recipe : Najmieh K.Batmanglij (A Taste of Persia)

For Syrup :
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tbsp. rose water (easy to find at Mid-East Store)

For Batter :
3 eggs yolks
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup clarified butter or Ghee *see note*
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
3 cups rice flour
2 tbsp. poppy seed or fine grind pistachio nuts
Directions :
1.Combine the sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil over. Remove from the heat, add the rose water, and set aside to cool. This syrup should be room temperature and not too thick. Set aside I cup and bottle the remainder for future use.

2.In a warm mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon sugar and beat well, until creamy.

3.In another mixing bowl, combine the clarified butter, oil, cardamom, and rice flour. Mix well for a few minutes then add the egg yolk mixture and mix a few seconds. Add the I cup syrup from Step 1 and knead well for a few seconds, or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. This will create a snow-white dough. Allow the dough to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.

4.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

5.Take a spoonful of dough, roll it into a ball the size of a hazelnut, flatten it slightly, and place it on the cookie sheet. Repeat, leaving 2 1/2 inches between each ball. With a fork or the edge of a cookie cutter, draw geometric patterns on the cookies and sprinkle them with poppy seeds. You may also use a cookie press (readily available in most cookware stores) to stamp a design in the dough.

6.Place the cookie sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake the cookies 10 to 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the cookies should be white when they are done.

7.Remove the cookies from the oven and cool. Lift the cookies off the baking paper carefully: They crumble very easily.

8.Arrange the cookies in a pyramid on a footed cake dish.
Make about 36medium cookies
Make your own Clarified Butter (Ghee)
Even so easy to find ghee at store, but why not make your own .. very simple and yet safe more money.
Melt 1 lbs of unsalted butter in sauce pan ; when it bubbles, cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minute, until most of the froth subsides.  Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes
Then strain the liquid through one layer of muslin or three layer of cheese-cloth to separate the clear butter fat from the milk solids. Discard the solid and store the ghee in a tightly closed jar in your refrigerator.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nasi Goreng Indonesia

Nasi Goreng Indonesia by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis
Please forgive me, not to post a very interesting recipe - what ?? Nasi Goreng ? aaw, every body know how to cook. All right, I just want to give reward to my self for lunch today, I work so hard at the gym for a couple weeks , though .. ok, nice lunch ! why not ? than just boring veggie+fruit combination smoothie ..

Nasi goreng, literally meaning fried rice, original made from leftover rice and eaten as a breakfast dish. Now more usual server for lunch or as the basis of a larger evening meal. This dish is best made from cold leftover rice, but you still can cook with a new rice from rice cooker but just keep 4 hours before cook to better taste. And one of secret ingredient (now is reveal) : 'kecap manis' - Indonesian soy bean sauce ; DON'T DARE to subtitute kecap manis with other soy bean sauce :P you won't get the same version as we love to eat.

Anyway, nasi goreng is become popular, simple dish in our family too - my husband like eat his version of nasi goreng which mean : no chili, no garlic, no cracker and topping with jalapeno slice pickle.  And my little one version is : no chili, add carrot, a lot of cabbage, and kerupuk :)

Everybody has their own version , but I cook like this :
6 shallots
3 garlic
5 g shrimp paste, toasted
10 g red chili or you can use 1 tbsp of Sambal Oelek
2 eggs
150 g chicken breast, deep-fried and shredded
1/4 cup cooking oil
500g rice, cold
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp kecap manis cap Bango or other Indonesian Brand, I just cant live without Bango
1 spring onion, chopped
Shallot flakes
Fried egg, sunny side up - in fact I like my fried egg with kind of runny yolk looking ^_^

Grind shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and chili to fine paste.
Scramble the egg , set a side
Heat cooking oil in a wok and stir-fry spice paste for 2 minutes, till brownish and fragrant, medium heat. Push spices to side of wok and pour egg into the wok.
Add rice, pepper, kecap manis and soy sauce. Stir-fry everything quickly over high heat, for 6-7 minutes. Ad the scramble egg. spring onion Mix well.
Serve warm with condiments such as sliced tomatoes/cucumber, fried egg, crackers, etc.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Proudly Parents..

Fauvism Landscape by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis

Hello.. Happy Friday for you all , it's absolutely lovely weather here until Saturday. I've been work out at the gym since morning , kicked my lazy a** and get more active today.. Hurt little bit after long pause, but I feel much better.

It's pretty busy week for me, but the best I can tell is I'm a proudly mom. My 6yo is doing a very great job at school.

First she has been chosen to participate in FLEX Enrichment for second time in 2 years in row because of her assessment scores at class. In FLEX Enrichment class, she will have the opportunity to engage in higher level thinking activities. For sure, she must to sign a behavior contract during the program :) but so far she is enjoy the new activity beside gymnastic and swimming lesson.

The second lovely thing was, she did a fabulous job on her Fauvism Landscape painting, and she has been chosen to represent her school at the North Regional Art Exhibition. The artists came from student at Elementary, Middle and High School at North Regional Area.

We attended the art exhibition on last Wednesday, it was packed .. full with parents, kids, teacher and staff from many school. I can tell all of them were proud with their kids art and craft objects. And me and my husband  were so surprise with her art paint too - so lovely. :) *I'm proud of you dear*

Well, may be I brag too much .. but who doesn't feel proud if your kiddos doing right thing in their age ? I'm sure you do.

Oh, she has been talked to her grandma and grandpa over the phone . Her 'bahasa' is getting better everyday. Can't wait to see them soon, I'm sure grandma and pa must be miss her so much, so she is.. Grand ma asked when she will come to Indonesia again, she answered : 'sabar ya,uti' (be patient, grandma )  LOL

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Waffle Cookies

Waffle Cookies by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis
Another bad weather coming to Midwest today, in started with a rain since Tuesday night until morning and change into snow. No school cancelation day, mean the weather probably just will be fine. It's absolutely slick on the road - I don't feel like to drive around during this nasty weather, just stay home since I finished my grocery shopping yesterday and thinking about to start put border for my quilt.. (ooh, I went to fabric store too yesterday, will show you the fabrics I picked up .. so lovely, and today my hand still klik..klik..klik  (push the enter button)  doing on line shopping *dooh* )

Until I saw 2 cookies jar on the table are empty. Oh NO.. !! this is not good :P - two cookies monster will craving and begging for me to bake.

Hmm.. let see, just bake something fast like this waffle cookies - really fast, no oven required.. It's only require of Belgian waffle maker that's all. wuhuuu .. less than 15 minute, everything ready .. I still have time to play around with my fabrics soon.

It is a fun cookies I ever make, please don't expect a perfect shape of cookies .. not too pretty but yet yummy..and supper fun if you decide to share with some other friends too. You can substitute the chocolate chips with almost anything you have in your pantry, such cinnamon, raisin whatever you like but your kiddo(s) probably will appreciate chocolate chips ^_^

Chocolate Chips Waffle Cookies

100gm butter, room temperature.
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 small eggs {or 2 yolks + 1 white}
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions :
1.In a stand mixer, cream together butter, vanilla , pinch of salt and sugar at medium speed for three minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary.

2.Add eggs and continue to beat on medium for another two minutes, scraping the bowl as necessary.
3.Set the mixer to stir and spoon in the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips. The finished batter should have the consistency of a sticky cookie dough.

4.Prepare your waffle maker as direction on the box and dish out measured tablespoon-sized portions (3/4 oz) into each division of the waffle iron. Bake for 2 minutes or until golden brown, and let cool and crisp up on a wire rack.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

cold weekend..

Already March second !! Still cold at STL - and just typical Saturday morning, my husband go for half day work, most the time just meet clients , and me must to take a little one for gymnastic class every Saturday morning.
Wake up early this morning my 6yo daughter said, "today is Dr. Seuss's Birthday and I want green egg for breakfast" *you might know book A Green Eggs And Ham- from Dr. Seuss* eeww...*  anyway, she made her own egg, 1 egg + 1 drop of blue food coloring , whisk very well = green egg. {ooh, my I forgot to take a picture} , oh yups.. she eat those green egg + 2 slice of bread and ready for gymnastic!
Yesterday she brought home , a change box as a part of Pennies for Patients Program. Which is the kids from her school will collecting spare change around the house and donating the money to support LLS's mission (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) - mostly for kids with cancer.  And what make me proud is, she just 6yo and she already think one step ahead , if she can do a lot of chore and get paid for it, her box will fill up soon.  And she really did ..  make up her bed, clean her room, fold the clothes etc.  And she get pay for good cause  :)

good reading by Fitri D. // Rumah Manis

What? Me ? during cold weekend ? is too cold to go outside, just reading some good books and flip sewing magazines I got several days ago. It's really good book, though..   The Japanese Sewing book I got from Joann's - on sale + commotion coupon, the final price was $7 ! And James Patterson novel (my favorite author) just 75cent from Thrift Store.
In fact, I have another reason to visit fabric store soon *I can't find exact coordinating fabric for binding and backing from my drawer* {really??, are you serious ? } - well, do you see my blankets ?? those are not finish, I don't have a fabrics .. ooh GOD ... ^_^
Have a nice weekend, every one. Thank you for stopping by . This is just my rambling..