Saturday, April 30, 2011

My favourite recipe : Cream of Roasted Asparagus

asparagus-soup

I don’t like vegetables for reason unknown. Perhaps I don’t like their taste. Maybe my sense of taste doesn’t jive well with vegetables. However, I know that they are full with vitamins and nutrients. Thus, if possible I try to make a nice meal out of vegetables so that the experience is less bearable. This one is one of them.

I made it a little different by roasting the asparagus alongside onions and garlic to bring out its natural sweetness. I also add some roasted cashews for extra creaminess. I include a herb like thyme  as a complement and dash of lemon juice to enhance its earthy green taste.

What you need :

About 12 stalks of asparagus

2 cloves of garlic (sliced)

1 small red onions (sliced)

2 cups of cream / milk

2 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of roasted cashew nuts

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

*Recipe is for about 4 bowls of soup

What to do:

Preheat oven to 220C (using the `Grill’ function). Place asparagus spears and roast for about 5 minutes. Turn the asparagus and sprinkle with sliced garlic and red onions. Roast for about 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender but do not let it brown too much.

When you are done, set aside some some of the spears’ tops for garnish. As for the rest of the spears and the onion / garlic mixture, toss it in the blender with cream and cashews and blend it until smooth. Strain it to remove any excess fiber to get a smooth puree.

Heat the mixture until hot, stirring frequently and add butter, salt and pepper to taste and finally thyme. Serve hot and garnish it with the reserved asparagus spears.

Estimated cooking time : 30 minutes

Note : You can omit butter and cream and use vegetable broth if you are vegetarian and if you want a healthier alternative.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coming Soon! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The finale of one of the most successful movie franchise (more than USD 6 billion worlwide) is coming very soon. The finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will pick up from where it left off last year. Watch the newly released trailer.



The trailer looks very exciting. There are the usual spectacle of wizardry effects, mythical creatures and also few shots of perils and heartache as well.

Did you notice anything interesting in the trailer? Look closely, and you may actually spot some revelations on the plot of the movie. Perhaps this is done on purpose to get fans excited!

This is one franchise that never dissapoints. Good directors, great cinematography, art and production design, complementing music score and cool actors! I hope the finale is as good as Lord of the Rings trilogy finale, the Return of the King.

Mark your calendar on July 15th. This is going to be a hot addition to the blockbusters released this summer.

Video Credit
Uploaded by cheezoid4life on Apr 6, 2011
Straight from the Blu-ray copy of Part 1, comes the newly released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer. Please Subscribe for more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Favourite Books : My Love For You by Susan L.Roth

myloveforu

I have a confession to make. The reason I picked “My Love for You” is because it was on a Payless Warehouse Sale and I got it at a bargain. For a sturdy board book, it was quite a catch actually.

That night, I read it to my children and then I cannot describe how I was overwhelmed by emotions. I thought the book was simple yet captivating in its own sweet way.

“My Love for You” characterizes love by counting animals and describing their traits. Love is compared to the qualities most recognizable to a toddler. The concept is quite similar to a popular book, “Guess How Much I Love You”.

In simple rhymed verse, the main characters measure their love for one another by counting “My love for you..is bigger than I bear …. taller than…” Well, you get the idea. This continues until they discover that the depth of their emotion is too big to calculate.

mylove susanelephants

The collage illustrations are wonderful and add texture to the book. The cheerful illustrations of collage are engaging and complement the light-hearted text.

second last

This picture book is also an exercise in counting where children can sharpen their skills in math. You can also teach animal identification with this one too.

However, the main theme is about a celebration of the endless boundary of love. The story ends with a touching illustration that warms my heart.

susan's last page

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Favourite Books : Go, Dog.Go! by P.D. Eastman

cover

I am never a fan of dogs since I have a bad experience when I was a child. One night, my neighbor’s dog just reaffirm my dog-phobia status by chasing me out of the blue.

However, I am a big fan of dogs in “Go, Dog.Go”. When I read “Go, Dog.Go!” to my children, I had more enjoyment reading it than being read to! I even love the title so much that I use it as words of encouragement for my friends whenever they want to pursue something. Of course, I change `dog’ to the person’s name :)

The book is one of my children’s favourite bedtime books and I actually agree with them. The illustration is cute, friendly and warm. The writings are funny, and cover “the things that go” appropriately for the target age group.

Here’s a sample page with accompanying line “Go, dogs.Go! It’s not too far!”. I love the expression of the dog’s faces and the simple words of encouragement for the dogs to rush to their final destination.

its not too far 

And what better way to end the story with a dog party up on a tree where every dog is invited!

dogparty

Monday, April 25, 2011

Professional Development for Science Communicators

Monday 25th April 2011, Kuala Lumpur
A group of science communicators attended a half-day professional development training today. The workshop was conducted to increase their competency in conducting a program called Creative Science for Schools which caters for school children ranging from pre-school to secondary.
The activity called “Energyzer” is all about energy and emphasis is given on renewable energy. In this particular workshop, trainee have hands-on experience in constructing two type of kits; the Hand Generator and Solar Station.
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Jus and Linda searching for the right parts. Farah was quite overwhelmed
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Cooperative learning is part of the action
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The three acts of Nensi and Nuyun
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Participants construct models based on the manual given.
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More actions from the participants.
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We are good to go!
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The car is using solar cells while the energy comes from the spotlight.
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The performance of the car depends on factors such as direct `energy’ received from light source, friction, mass and gears, among others
There are plans for more of such development opportunities in future.

Memartabat Bahasa Malaysia 1

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Dipetik dan diadaptasi dari Tip Bahasa, mStar, 24th April 2011, yang salah di dalam kurungan
mbmmbi
jawatankuasa (jawatan kuasa)
nasionalisme (nasionalisma), sama juga liberalisme, kapitalisme
ke-5 (ke 5)
kalendar (kelendar)
kemas kini (kemaskini)
kereta api (keretapi)
keriting (kerinting)
kokurikulum (ko-kurikulum)
kolesterol (kolestrol)
komersial (komersil)
legenda (lagenda)
lalu lintas (lalulintas)
landskap (lanskap)
latar belakang (latarbelakang)
lebuh raya (lebuhraya)
leukemia (leukimia)
losen (losyen)
maksimum (maksima), sama juga minimum (minima)
manfaat (manafaat)
mi (mee)
mekanisme (mekanisma)
mencatat (mencatit)
mengetepikan (mengenepikan)
mewujudkan (mengujudkan)
mantera (mentera)
berbahaya (merbahaya)
bersambung….

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aktiviti Sains : Perhiasan Gantungan Gelatin

Pengenalan

Gelatin digunakan untuk membuat kapsul pil, filem fotografi dan jeli pencuci mulut. Mari kita lihat apa yang kita boleh pelajari tentang kimia dengan aktiviti sains yang menarik ini!

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Kiri-Kanan : Gelatin, Gelatin digunakan untuk membuat jeli dan kapsul pil.

Apa yang anda perlukan?

Gelatin tanpa perasa

Air

Pelbagai warna pewarna makanan

Tutup plastik

Periuk

Kertas tuala dapur

Pencetak acuan kuih

Straw minuman

Gunting

Apa yang perlu dibuat?

1. Masukkan 5 sudu besar air dan 3 titik pewarna makanan di dalam periuk.

2. Minta orang dewasa untuk panaskan periuk dengan api kecil.

3. Masukkan kandungan 3 paket gelatin ke dalam periuk dan kacau sampai larut.

4. Masak dan kacau selama 30 saat atau hingga campuran pekat.

5. Tuang campuran ke dalam tutup plastik seolah-olah kita mahu membuat agar-agar.

6. Kurangkan pembentukan gelembung udara dengan menggunakan sudu.

7. Biarkan adunan anda sejuk selama 45 minit.

8. Angkat gelatin dari tutup plastik dengan berhati-hati. Ia akan kelihatan seperti gel elastik.

9. Gunakan pencetak acuan kuih untuk membuat pelbagai bentuk yang anda suka.

10. Buat lubang di gel dengan straw.

11. Gantung gel pada tali. Gelatin akan keras seperti plastik dalam waktu sekitar 2-3 hari.

Apa yang berlaku?

Gelatin sebenarnya adalah sejenis protein yang juga dikenali dengan nama kolagen. Molekul kolagen tersusun menghasilkan serat. Serat ini tidak larut dalam air. Serat membentuk rangkaian yang menetapkan sel-sel di tempat yang tetap. Ketika kolagen dipanaskan itu, ia terurai untuk membentuk protein yang lebih ringkas yang dikenali sebagai gelatin. Gelatin pula larut di dalam air. Ketika larutan gelatin itu menyejuk, ia membentuk satu larutan separa-pepejal atau gel. Rangkaian molekul gelatin memerangkap air di dalam gelatin. Ia sama juga dengan cara rangkaian molekul kolagen memerangkap air.

Tahukah anda?

Gelatin dihasilkan dengan cara merebus tulang, tendon, kuku dan ligamen haiwan yang disembelih untuk daging.

Cubalah!

Gantikan gelatin dengan satu lagi bahan yang bersifat sama iaitu agar-agar. Ia berasal dari rumput laut. Agar-agar boleh di dapati di kedai sebagai helaian panjang seperti tali raffia. Ia adalah tidak berwarna atau hampir keputihan. Ia juga boleh didapati dalam bentuk serbuk. Agar-agar sering digunakan di Malaysia untuk membuat agar-agar atau lengkong. Anda juga boleh gunakan gam guar dan karaginan sebagai alternatif kepada agar-agar dan gelatin.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All over again…

I am starting all over again and this time I determine to stay in existence in the blogosphere.
I started in January 2010 and even had a “launching” attended by friends and colleague in the previously known fraternity called Center of Learning. Then I wrote my first posting, nothing much but more of  tribute and thank yous. The theme decided was “Life..Celebration”. My goal is to pay homage to all sort of things we called LIFE.
After about 9 months later, mothers deliver babies but I haven’t deliver any single posting.
Four days later, I picked up the pieces and did a re-branding. I paid tribute to Dr Seuss because I love every single books that he wrote. It was a very long title. Then followed by nothing else :(
Then, I thought it is time to pick up where I left off and this time I will not give up.
It was a week full of high and lows. I read books about blogging, I surf hours in the internet, I change the look and feel of the blog like a million times. I explored new frontiers, pushing boundaries but at the same time put myself under a lot of stress and pressure.
But in the end, I realized that I may have tried too hard. There are limit to things. And as I relate my experience to Nensi today, the most valuable lesson that I have from this experience is to be content with what I have.Some things are not worth fighting for.
Although I had my share of frustrations (I just loved the Pistacio and Helios Theme!), in the end it was a joyful experience especially knowing what I may achieved if I persist.
For now, I will enrich and work on my content and add value to my blogging experience. Those technical stuff can wait. I am sure the day will come when all my dream-blog will come true :)
Welcome to Fun + Mental  = Fundamental.
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Left  : Zach Mills narrates the chapter “Fun and Mental is Fundamental”   Right : The Zack Helm’s movie poster,
Note : I would like to dedicate this entry to Syafiq who had helped in setting up F+M=FM. Thanks my friend.