Friday, 24 May 2013

Stunner Image of the week - 17/05/2013

haven't done a stunner image for a while but here goes one now. I downloaded this picture from a Facebook page and I cant stop staring at it.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

RAndom RAnt 1: Experimental Cooking


I find normal cooking to be a good thing and something I like doing. What I find even more fantastic is experimental cooking. Experimental cooking is when you cook outside the norms and rules laid down by ancient unknown/invisible forces. I usually wonder why water should be boiled to 100 degrees Celsius before adding the rice, when I can put both at the same time or anytime and still get the same result. I have never understood some set rules in cookery when they all achieve the same results when done otherwise. I love challenging the normal and usual in cooking. I believe that is what makes a confident cook. This is applicable in all areas of life.

When I was in my late teenage years, my mum and aunts were always on my case about my inability to properly cook and make soups. This totally puts me off cooking and I always got apprehensive about cooking. My mum had this define rules/norms she followed. All her sisters and relatives followed these same  norms/rules to cooking. She tired teaching me too but I was finding some unnecessary and challenged others. 
I also had an older family friend who tried to teach me how to cook. She had totally different norms/rules to what my mum does. She obviously thought hers’ was the right one and my mum thought the same about her  own too. They both gave me HUGE headaches when I was trying to decide on which to abide by.

When I moved into my own place and stopped eating out, I started cooking. However, I didn't really start enjoying cooking until I challenged the norms, doing my own twists and coming up with my own recipes. I use lime/lemon to cook every type of chicken, I don’t fry my tomato paste with oil and the list goes on and on. I have made lots of mistakes, try and errors but also learned a whole lot of things. When I now think back, I feel both my mum and family friend was both right, they just had styles that they stuck to when cooking.

I have gotten very interested in other cultures’ spices and food. I don’t believe there is a wrong way of cooking, I just believe everyone has their own way and should sometimes push and break boundaries, try things differently.

“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” - Alan Alda

What cooking rules/norms do you follow? Have you challenged it?

Monday, 13 May 2013

My Cough/Catarrh Remedy

Dealing with cough and catarrh can be very annoying, especially when the weather is sunny and hot, like what I am experiencing now. The last thing you want to be drinking at times like these are hot drinks. However, cough/catarrh is usually the first sign for me to get back on track whenever I am slacking at eating a healthy diet.

At the first strike of cough/catarrh, I get out the following ingredients below;
  • 1 medium size ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 medium size lime or lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of organic/raw honey (I use raw 15+ manuka New Zealand honey)
  • 1 cup of water (250ml)

I always have these ingredients in my kitchen because I use them to cook every time. The use of garlic is optional because not everyone can stand the smell. In fact, I will not advise you to use it in this recipe if you have an important meeting or outing the following day because your breath might still stink of it. On a personal preference, I think garlic is the answer to so many illnesses and sickness. I think a bit of garlic every now and then keeps the doctor away but again, that is just me thinking.

Preparation (Easy)
I peel my ginger and garlic, chop them up and toss into a blender. I add a cup of water to it and blend it. I then put the blended mixture (water, ginger and garlic) in a pot and let to get warmed up. Now I don’t believe in letting my water get up to 100 degrees because I believe boiling of the blended mixture will reduce the properties of the ginger and garlic. I just allow it to get warm, not more than I can drink immediately (I usually should be able to put my finger in the water without screaming in pain). After the water is warm enough, I squeeze my lime or lemon and add my tablespoon of honey. Viola!!! Ready to drink.

Whenever I am plagued with cough/catarrh, I enjoy taking this at night just before I sleep and I wake up in the morning feeling relieved.

My rationale for the use of the above ingredients
Ginger is an herb that grows as a root. It is believed to help cure headaches, colds, fatigue, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, the flu, muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, and even diabetes. It can also act as a good pain and ache reliever. Ginger promotes energy circulation in the body while positively increasing the body's metabolic rate.

Garlic is another wonder herb, nicknamed 'stinking rose'. It has been used for years in the treatment of diseases and conditions. Garlic contains a chemical called allicin. This chemical makes garlic work for certain conditions. Allicin also makes garlic smell, not only does it cause bad breath, but it actually travels through your entire body and can come out of your pores. Garlic that loss this chemical is less effective. Garlic is a natural powerful antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal herb. There is strong evidence of garlic treating high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), colon cancer, rectal cancer, and stomach cancer, tick bites and fungal infections. Although, there are not sufficient evidence on the relationship between garlic and the treatment of cold/cough/catarrh but preliminary research suggests garlic might reduce the frequency and number of colds when taken for prevention.

Lime/lemon contains vitamin C and a flavonoid called limonin glucoside. Limes are very good antibiotics, detoxifiers and great antioxidants. Limes cleanses bacteria and toxins from the body and aids in digestion. These properties in these citrus help halt the progress of cold/cough/catarrh.

Any raw and organic honey is great for the treatment of cold but Manuka honey is a different one of a kind. Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush. The major antibacterial component in Manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a compound found in most types of honey, but usually only in small quantities. Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a concentration of unique antioxidant phenols present in this type of honey that directly inhibits bacterial growth and promotes healing. Its antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties makes it an effective remedy for sore throats, colds, acne, sinusitis, acid reflux and heartburn, ringworm, wounds, burns, and other skin problems.

The Healing Power of Garlic by Paul Bergner

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Two Month Update

I have been away for a while now and I can give being overloaded with work as an excuse but that is not entirely true as I have even finished watching season 1 – 5 of Breaking Bad US and Castle Season 2 – 4 since my last post. So what exactly have I been up to apart from catching up on TV shows?
  • Travelling (Lagos – Abuja – Yola);
  • Working (some 10am to 5pm things);
  • Bonding with new friends/people (Just started really enjoying the Wats App application on my phone);
  • More cooking ( I can honestly say I spend up to 3 hours every day doing this and trust me it is in no way voluntary);
  • Enjoy reading other blogs; and
  • House chores (since moving back in with my parents, this has become a thing I can’t avoid any longer).

You can all see I haven’t been doing ‘nothing’. Anyways, I intend to have more posts up soon. :)