Taste of Home: Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is a rich dish that you can prepare for yourself, your family and friends for lunch or dinner. It’s a simple recipe that takes about 30 minutes to prepare. In fact, this dish is good for people who do not have that much time to spend on cooking.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

In this recipe, the chicken is creamy, tender and juicy as the chicken breast is drenched in the most luscious, creamy, and hearty mushroom sauce, easily made from a few simple ingredients. You will need boneless chicken breast, fresh white button mushroom, fresh cream and cheddar cheese.

If I can’t find fresh white button mushroom in the supermarket, I replaced it with Bonduelle, it’s a good French tin mushroom. Before cooking, my family and I opted to sautéed the mushroom (fresh or tin) first without any oil or butter, slowly and over a gentle fire so that the water from it will seep out and it will just simmer in their liquid. As a result, it would taste good and not spongy and squishy.

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Another thing I like about this recipe is that it’s great served up over pasta, steamed rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, sautéed vegetables of your choice, toast, or whatever you like. And, to me, this creamy mushroom sauce is one of the easiest sauce I’ve had ever make.

For those who are craving for something creamy but easy-to-make dish – chicken with creamy mushroom sauce is just perfect for you.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pieces boneless chicken breast
  • 1 pack of white button mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 6 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 cL cooking fresh cream
  • 2 spoonful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoon of melted salted butter
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • chicken powder
  • 2tablespoon of olive oil

Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Method:

Step 1: Prepare the chicken

  • Season boneless chicken breast with chicken powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  • Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add chicken breast until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Step 2: Prepare the mushroom

  • In a pan, sauté the mushrooms slowly without any oil and butter above a gentle fire to evaporate the liquid from it so that it won’t taste too squishy.

Step 3: Prepare the mushroom sauce

  • In a separate pan, melt the butter.
  • Add onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until tender and browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Gradually, pour in the chicken broth. Stir.
  • Add the fresh cream. Stir. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the cheese. Stir constantly.
  • Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook. Stir constantly until slightly thickened about 4 minutes.

Step 4: Putting together

  • Put-in the chicken into the mushroom sauce. In between, spoon some sauce over the top of the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Garnish the chicken with creamy sauce with parsley
  • Serve it immediately with sautéed baby carrots and beans (or any vegetables of your choice) in butter, steam rice, mashed potatoes, biscuits, toast or whatever you like.
  • Share and enjoy your delicious meal with your loved ones.

An afternoon at the Science Gallery and Science Discovery in Kids City.

Since our son is a little Science geek, we took him to the Science Gallery and Science Discovery at Kids City. The exhibits and activities there aim to explain how the world works.

@ the Science Gallery

Mirror

On the 8th floor is the Science Discovery. It has interactive science lab with more than 60 Science activities and experiments for children aged 12 years old and below.

George Peter assembled the different components of the parallel circuit.

Bravo, George Peter! You did it!

The Science Gallery is on the 9th floor. It contains experiments, displays, and activities that are really well thought out of fun such as human gyro, magnet display, hot air balloon experiment, high-wire bicycle, and electricity table.

Gravity Well – one of the activities he really enjoyed.

Learning about sounds.

Personally, I like it there because most of the exhibits are interactive. Not only the children will learn different things like gravity, sounds, the solar system, etc, but they’ll also be learning in the funniest way possible.

Learning about the solar system.

Conquered his fear of heights through the high-wire bicycle.

Alan tried the Human Gyro

A picture taken through color Kaleidoscope.

It is also safe to do the activities – they have trained staff and the equipment is new and mostly imported from Europe.

Colors

Colors

We spent about 2 hours in the Science Gallery and another 1.5 hours in the Science Discovery, and our son loved his time there. He was fascinated with all the displays and enjoyed all the activities. Certainly, it was a good place for him to relax and enjoy one of his afternoons in Phnom Penh.

Learned how wire buzzer works.

Having fun with the Bernoulli Blower.

Learning about the iris part of the eye.

Indeed, the Science Gallery and the Science Discovery in Kids City are enthralling learning facilities.

Learn more about sounds.

Learn more about sounds.

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is conveniently located in Sihanouk Boulevard, just beside Lucky Supermarket.
  • You have to pay for every activity.
  • Most of the activities are designed for children 12 years old and below.
  • It is open from 10AM to 8PM (Monday to Fridays) and from 9Am to 8PM for weekends and holidays.

Have you taken your child to the Science Gallery and Science Discovery in Kids City? What activity did your child enjoy the most?

Slide into Fun at Fantastic Water World

It’s a holiday and the heat is scorching! Luckily, we found a gem, so myself and my family decided to check out the Fantastic Water World in Phnom Penh.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World looks like a miniature castle. It features a bumpy giant slide, spiral inner-tube rides, two giant-mechanical water buckets, slow-moving moat, climbing forts, slides for little ones and many more. There is also a café, children’s playroom, gym, change rooms, shops and seating areas inside the main building.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

It is located inside Grand Phnom Penh International City, northern end of Hanoi Street. We went there by a tuktuk, and it took us about 40 minutes (from BKK 3, Phnom Penh ) to get there. We paid $20 for the round trip plus the waiting time.

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

The place is very nice. It was not crowded even though it was holiday. Everybody – children and adult alike were just having fun like small little kids. My boys splashed their hearts out as they took the slide of their life on the winding inner tubes rides. Plus, we’ve got some tan lines and we were able to watch the beautiful sun going down the horizon while we were having fun in the water. Overall, we all had a good, fun time and it was a great family day!

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Certainly, Fantastic Water World is a good place for families with children and makes a great day out when you are looking to cool down! Grab your families and friends now and be ready to slide, splash and smile at Fantastic Water World!

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Fantastic Water World

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is open from 9AM to 6PM.
  • The entrance fee is reasonable, $4 per person.
  • The locker costs 1 coin (1,000 Riel or $0.25).
  • No food and drinks allowed inside.

Taste of Home: Beef Lasagna

Lasagna is a rich Italian food that has captivated the hearts and taste buds of everyone in the world. It is made with alternate layers of pasta, garniture, Béchamel / White sauce, and cheese.

Beef Lasagna

In fact, Lasagna is one of the family’s favorite food, and everyone loves it!

It has everything – pasta, cheese, meat, veges. It is frickin’ awesome. It is divine. It looks good, tastes good, and can be made in so many different ways. It is also filling and smells like heaven when it is being cooked. It’s delicious and nutritious, and even better on the second day.

I tried to learn how to make lasagna from making pasta to putting all the ingredients together from Alan. At first, I thought it was so complicated, but when I tried it, I realized that it’s just easy although it takes a little practice and be familiar with the ingredients. I was very pleased and proud that I successfully make lasagna for myself and for my family as well.

Beef Lasagna

In this recipe, my family and I opted to use all fresh ingredients – from tomato sauce to pasta. It’s tastier and healthier! We also prefer to use good cheese, Emmental cheese being our favorite cheese for lasagna as it is not a strong-tasting cheese. For the sauce, my family and I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so we make our own version of sauce.

For those who would like to try to make it, here’s our version of Beef Lasagna recipe. Please let us know what you think about it.

Beef Lasagna fresh from the oven!

Ingredients for 12 servings:

  • 1.2 kg of minced beef
  • 4 kg of tomatoes
  • 500 g shallots
  • 200 g of butter
  • 200 g of Emmental cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • milk
  • flour
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • ground black pepper

Method:

The pasta
– Put some flour (about 200 grams) in a mixing bowl.
– Crack 2 eggs. Stir until they have mixed together.
– Add a bit of salt and about 10cL of water. Mix it again. Add flour bit by bit until you   obtain a mixture that is soft and non-sticky. Let it rest for about 1 hour.
– Roll it flat. Press your oven dish at the top of the flat pasta so that you can cut it to fit the oven dish.
– Let the pasta rest for about 12hrs in a clean dry place.

Rolling the pasta

Drying the pasta

The garniture
– Cut the tomatoes and shallots into thin slices.
– Put a few centiliters of water in a saucepan so that nothing gets burned.
– Mix the onions and tomatoes together in the same saucepan and cook the mixture for about one hour and a half over a medium fire. Stir often. Add a sprinkle of salt and soy sauce halfway through.
– Cook the minced beef in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Sprinkle with soy sauce and add a bit of black pepper. When it’s ready, mix it together with the tomatoes/onions.

Béchamel / White sauce
Personally, I find béchamel too strong and white sauce too tasteless, so this is what I do for lasagna:
– In a saucepan, melt about 200g of butter. Add about 100cL of water and 100cL of milk. Let it cook gently for a few minutes.
– Mix 5 table spoons of flour with water in a big glass or a tiny jar. Stir until the mixture is homogeneous.
– Put the water/flour mix into the pan and let it cook gently until it thickens. Stir continuously.

Beef Lasagna

Putting it together:
– Put half of garniture at the bottom of an oven dish. Put a layer of pasta on top. Put a layer of white sauce / béchamel on top. Put another layer of garniture on top. Another layer of pasta on top. One final layer of white sauce / béchamel on top.
– Put it into an oven pre-heated at 250 degree Celsius for about one hour. Then grate the cheese and sprinkle it on top. – Put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Et voilà! Serve, share and enjoy your luscious Beef Lasagna!

Taste of Home: Chicken Afritada

Last Tuesday, we fancied a Filipino style meal. So, I decided to cook a Filipino stew called Chicken Afritada, which is highly influenced by Spanish stew.

Chicken Afritada without green peas

I learned how to cook this dish from my mom when I was in Grade 6. We love Chicken Afritada and here are the reasons why it certainly captured our attention:

  • The recipe is simple – it is easy as pie.
  • It is cooked in tomato sauce.
  • It is colorful and visually appealing.
  • It can be served either lunch or dinner.

Chicken Afritada with green peas

This is my mom’s version of Chicken Afritada. While the original recipe use tomato sauce, my family and I opted for fresh tomatoes – you’ll get a healthier and tastier flavor than when just simply using canned tomato sauce. I still use 2 spoonful of tomato paste, though just to balance the flavor. Also, I cook it slowly to obtain a thick and rich sauce. I think that’s the secret to get a terrifically amazing Chicken Afritada.

To me, recipes from the family are truly the sweetest. And, if you love stew, tomatoes and chicken – this recipe is perfect for you.

Chicken Afritada

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of chicken thighs or boneless chicken breast
  • 2 medium size carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium size potatoes, washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 medium size onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crunched and minced
  • 1 small size red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small size green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small can of green peas
  • 2 spoonful tomato paste
  • 1 Knorr chicken cube
  • 2 pieces dried bay leaves
  • ground Kampot black pepper, to taste
  • 750 mL water
  • olive oil

Method:

  1. Put olive oil in a cooking pot and heat it up.
  2. Put in garlic and onion and sauté.
  3. When onion gets soft (white color), put-in the chicken. Stir. Cook until lightly brown.
  4. Pour in the water. Cover. Boil for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add bay leaves, tomato paste and Knorr chicken cube.  Stir. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, green peas and potatoes. Stir. Cover. Then it let cook for 30 minutes in a medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure no scorched crust forms at the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add Kampot black pepper. Stir. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  8. Put it in a serving dish.
  9. Serve, share and savor this delicious Filipino chicken stew – Afritada with hot steamed rice!

KL Bird Park: A Paradise for Bird Lovers

While we were in Kuala Lumpur, we spent a whopping 4 hours at KL Bird Park, which is known to be the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world. It is situated about 10 minutes away from the city center, within the peaceful and picturesque Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park is a beautifully laid-out park, well-kept and perfect for a stroll. It is divided into 4 zones: Zone 1 – The Parrots (Love Aviary), Zone 2 – The Storks and Egrets (Free-Flight Aviary), Zone 3 – The Hornbills Park (Oriental Bird Aviary), and Zone 4 – The Peafowls (Waterfall Aviary). It houses over 3,000 birds of various species from across the globe in the 21 acres of lush vegetation with natural streams, ponds, waterfalls, and a beautiful landscape. Most of the birds are free to roam around and gives good opportunity for photography.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

While we were leisurely walking in the park, we saw lots of peacocks scattered everywhere. It was my first time interacting with so many of them. They were friendly. It was quite interesting and enjoyable to be so near with lots of peacocks.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

Along the way, we also encountered other birds – doves, Victoria Crowned Pigeons, and some white birds roaming freely at the park. We were also fascinated to see some birds in cages such as parrots, eagles and even cassowaries (birds that look like a real dinosaur).

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

Certainly, birds are bestowed with untold beauty. I loved it there! We had plenty of opportunities to get close up photos shoots and have personal encounters with lots of birds. It looks like the birds are so accustomed to people that some of them have learnt to interact with you, walk with you, pose for you,  expect to be fed by you, peck at you, show off to you,  and demurely tweet at you.

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park

If you like birds, this is the place to go and it is well worth a visit!

Little Lilly travel tip:

  • It is open from 9AM to 6PM daily, including holidays.
  • The entrance fee is quite high (RM55), but if you love birds, it’s worth a visit. You can pay with credit card.
  • Bring sunscreen and a bottle of water.
  • The ostriches are fed daily. The bird food costs RM2 at the parrot area.
  • The bird show (mostly parrots and macaws) is at 12pm daily.
  • It is hard to access if you are disabled.
  • There are some indoor education building where you can learn more about birds

Have you been to the KL Bird Park? What did you like best there?

Taste of Home: Bulalo

Bulalo is one of the most popular Filipino beef soup. It is made out of beef leg bones with marrow. This dish originated in Taal, Tagaytay where they have a cooler temperature when compared to other parts of the Philippines.

Bulalo

I learned how to cook this dish from my dad. I like dad’s Bulalo’s recipe because it is simple yet it makes a delectable dish. One of the secrets to make a good Bulalo is to boil the meat for a long period of time so that the meat releases all of its flavors and becomes tender.

My family and I love to eat Bulalo because it’s tasty and nutritious. Another thing I enjoy about Bulalo is the bone marrow. I take out the marrow from the bone then I dip it in a sauce (soysauce with lime and chili) and eat it with plain rice. It is so delicious!

Have you tried Bulalo? What do you like about the dish? For those who would like to try Bulalo, here’s a simple recipe for you.

Bulalo

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of beef shank
  • 1 pc small cabbage, whole leaf individually detached
  • 1 small bundle pak choy
  • 3 pcs corn, each corn cut into 4 parts
  • 2 pcs large carrot, roughly cut (optional)
  • 2 tbsp whole pepper corn
  • 1 pc onion, roughly cut
  • 3 liters of water
  • 2 pcs beef broth

Method:

  1. Pour in water in a big cooking pot. Add the beef broth and bring it to a boil.
  2. Put-in the beef shank. Add whole pepper corn and onion. Boil for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  3. Add corn. Let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and pak choy. Let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, share and enjoy!