Poop Coffee (aka Kopi Luwak)

 by:TheJarrett818

We are on vacation. We were in Penang, Malaysia and now we’re in Singapore. I am really sorry about not updating, the internet was very slow there. Anyway I got the rare opportunity to try Kopi Luwak. A coffee made from coffee beans harvested from the poop of Civets. It was only MR$35, about US$11 (malaysian ringgit – MR$3 = US$1). Normally in other parts of the world it costs about US$300 per cup. I usually can”t dink coffee but this was a special occasion.  Anyway we went to a local coffee shop call the gusto cafe, in Tanjong Bungah neighborhood. I tried it straight drip, and as a latte. Anyway enough gibberish, let’s get on to the coffee. 

Gusto Cafe - Penang, Malaysia

image   image  They look like normal coffee beans but they smell like chocolate and citrus, and you can almost taste it just by smelling the beans.image image

So first I will talk about the straight drip.I really enjoyed this because of it’s flavor. It was very strong, but the flavor was not bitter, a little close to bitter but not bitter. It was also very smooth and silky. It also had an aftertaste, I thought the aftertaste was very interesting, it was not very harsh and bitter like most coffee. It was very smooth and had lots of flavor. But what was the most interesting was the aftertaste lingers on the front of your tongue;  unlike the latte version which lingers on the back of your tongue. Now onto the latte review.  wpid-20130701_101156-1.jpg image

The latte was the version i tried first. It was very interesting because unlike the drip the aftertaste is closer to bitterness.I have no problem with bitterness, but was very different than I had expected. Also there was another thing about the latte, unlike most coffee where adding milk only adds creaminess; adding milk to kopi luwak dramatically changes its flavor. It becomes a lot stronger and the texture changes. So that’s the Kopi Luwak review. Over all I really enjoyed the coffee, it was very different from my expectations, but in a good way. I rate it a 10/10. I also had a special treat, another kind of coffee that me and my mom tried.     imageimage

We (me and my mom) also tried kopi tubruk, which was very different than most coffee. The coffee beans are roasted in sugar, so the coffee is sweet, but not in the candy sweet way. You drink it very differently, you drink it on a plate, not in a cup The reason you drink like that is so the coffee beans stay at the top. I found this was very different than Kopi Luwak, mainly in taste. This coffee was smooth, but not very silky, but also sweet. Overall I really enjoyed this coffee, I will rate it a 9/10. image  

Lamb Chops and New Potatoes with Rosemary

By MightyMouse

 Last week I made lamb and potatoes with broccolini on the side. Some people think that cooking lamb is complicated but it’s actually easy. 

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First, I squeezed the lemons to death with my bare hands!!!!! Watch out for the seeds. P1010939-001P1010945-001 

I plucked the mint leaves with my bare hands. I tried using the herb shaver on the scissors for the rosemary, but it didn’t work very well. So I pulled the rosemary limbs off with my bare hands!!!! My mom and I didn’t read the recipe properly and we added the rosemary too early. You are supposed to add it when you add the lamb. But it was still ok. Sometimes it’s ok to make mistakes in cooking.  P1010989-001

Then I threw the lamb into the marinade. The lamb changed color after awhile because the  acid of the lemons were kind of ‘cooking’ the lamb. It turned from bight pink to slightly golden brown. We turned the lamb over a few times, so that all sides would soak up the oil and herbs and get marinated.

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I used multi colored fingerling potatoes.

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  While the lamb was marinating, I cut the potatoes with my bare hands….and a knife.

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And tossed them in the oil. At first I used the tongs, but then I flipped them with my bare hands (it’s important to wash your hands before you start cooking – especially before you start cooking this recipe).

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 While the potatoes were in the oven, I cut and washed some broccolini.P1010978-001

Never do this with your knife. Because your mom will yell at you. Also, it makes a cut in your cutting board, which allows bacteria to hide and it dulls the tip of your knife. My mom was so mad!!

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 After the potatoes cooked for 20 min, I put the lamb in the pan and put it back in the oven. P1010999-001

While the lamb was cooking, I boiled water with salt and cooked the broccolini (for just a couple of minutes) with my bare hands…no, not literally…I used snow mittens…no….I used oven mitts.

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The recipe doesn’t have any salt. So the lamb was a little bland. My dad added salt while we were eating it, but I ate mine before he could add any salt to my lamb. Next time, I’ll add a little salt during the marinade. But overall it was good. And it was easy to make.

 

*photos by my mom

Lamb Chops and New Potatoes with Rosemary
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Ingredients
  1. Lamb
  2. 1 lemon
  3. 1 sprig fresh mint
  4. 2 tbs olive oil
  5. 4 lamb chops
  6. Potatoes
  7. 1 1/2 lbs new potatoes
  8. 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  9. 1 garlic clove
  10. 2 tbs olive oil
Instructions
  1. Using the bridge technique, cut the lemon in half and then squeeze the juice into a bowl
  2. Pull the mint leaves off the stalk and add to the lemon juice
  3. Add the oil, and mix everything together
  4. Put the lamb chops into the lemon juice mixture and mix to make sure that the meat is well coated in the oil (we turned it over a few times)
  5. Let marinate for 1 hour - this gives the chops time to absorb all those lovely oil and herb flavors
  6. Once the lamb has been marinating for 45 minutes, turn the on the oven to 375 degrees F
  7. Using the bridge technique, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and put into a roasting pan with the rosemary and garlic
  8. Drizzle over the oil and, using oven mitts, put the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes
  9. Take the lamb out of the marinade and if your pan is big enough, add the lamb to the potatoes. If not, you will need another roasting dish for the lamb.
  10. Roast the lamb chops for 10 minutes
  11. Wearing your oven mitts, take the lamb out of the oven and, using tongs, turn the chops over.
  12. Using oven mitts, put the dish back in to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  13. The potatoes should be golden and tender when you poke them with a skewer or table knife.
  14. The lamb will be very slightly pink in the middle, which is how it should be.
  15. Cook for a little bit longer if you prefer
Notes
  1. The recipe doesn't have salt. I think that you need to add salt.
  2. I used 8 pieces of lamb chops (but they were small chops)
  3. We accidentally put the rosemary in the marinade, with the mint, but it still turned out ok. It's ok to make mistakes when you cook, sometimes.
Adapted from The Silver Spoon for Children
Adapted from The Silver Spoon for Children
Untainted Palate http://untaintedpalate.com/

the Walrus and the Carpenter

By TheJarrett818

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I like seafood. And I like oysters. On Sunday, we went to an oyster bar called the Walrus and the Carpenter. They have a Happy Hour between 4pm and 6 pm and the oysters are cheapest during 4-5pm (the oysters are between $1-$1.25 each, during that one hour). We had to get in line 30 minutes before the restaurant opened and there was already a long line of people waiting. We sat on the floor in the hallway outside the restaurant, using our gadgets and reading. We took the last four seats and sat at the bar counter.

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We ordered five dozen oysters. I ate about three dozen oysters by myself. We also ordered marinated arauco olives, bread, little brown farm’s chevre (goat cheese) with cherries and also a seafood bisque.

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The oysters:

I liked the Baywater oysters the most, because they were the small kind that do not taste too sweet or salty. I also liked the Treasure Cove, but not as much as the Baywaters. The Baywaters were my favorite.

I did not like the Effingham because it was too salty and I did not like the cucumber sweetness (but I like cucumbers – I’m eating cucumbers right now!).

If you like big oysters, order the Judd Cove. I thought the Judd Cove was okay. I didn’t like it that much. But I don’t like big oysters, I only like small oysters, like Kumamotos.

When I left, my tongue had a coating of creaminess and taste of the sea, from the oysters. I like that feeling.

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I really enjoyed the marinated auraco olives (which are green olives) because it had a lot of flavor, but it wasn’t like black olives. I also enjoyed the soup because it had a lot of seafood flavor, but also a creaminess and milkiness.The goat cheese with the cherries and bread were amazing!! It was an awesome combination because the bread was a base, the cheese added a saltiness and creaminess and then the cherries brought a tartness and sweetness.

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Overall, I really enjoyed the restaurant but if you want the cheaper price on oysters, be sure to get there between 4pm and 5pm. But make sure you get there 30 minutes at least before opening. 

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You can also read the Walrus and the Carpenter’s blog.

 * photos by my mom

Samurai Noodle

By MightyMouse 

 

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I have a friend named jackson and he works at a restrant called Samurai Noodle. they used to have a daily special ramen that jackson used to make it for me, whenever I come, even if it’s not the special that day. Now, that special ramen is on the everyday menu, so I can have it anytime that i go there.

Ramen is the technical term for a japanese noodle dish. ramen was originally chinese, but everyone thinks that it is japanese. But instant ramen was invented in Japan by a man named Momofuku. My mom read a book about him and told me. so that is why you want to read this blog, so that you can learn a lot of stuff.

when we go to samurai noodle, we usually order an appetizer called gyoza. gyoza is a dumpling. i like them because i like ground meat and vegetables in the gyoza. the gyoza at samurai noodle are my favorite because the flavor is tasty.20130406_130029-001          20130406_130018-001     

i always order the spicy miso ramen*. it always tastes better when jackson is there and he makes it. but i still eat it when he’s not there. the spicy miso has a pork broth that gives the ramen a delicious flavor. the soup has a spicy taste that takes awhile for you to feel it. i call this a ‘slow burn’. this is one of my favorite restrants and i recommend that you try it for yourself…NOW!!! This very second. if you’re still reading, you’re not doing it this very SECOND!!! if you see jackson, tell him p-man sent you (^-^)

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*Spicy Miso Tonkotsu [spicy miso pork broth]
comes with thin wheat noodles, a pork slice, green onions, corn, and bean sprouts.

** this review is for the University District Samurai Noodle

*** photos taken by my mom

Theo Chocolate Tour

By TheJarrett818

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One of my favorite foods is chocolate. My favorite types are dark (like, 95% dark, which is quite bitter), white (but I don’t like that you don’t get health benefits with white chocolate) and milk chocolate. And I like to learn how my favorite foods are made. So i went on a Theo chocolate tour. Theo chocolate is one in about twenty chocolate makers in America. Most chocolate companies are chocolate melters, not chocolate makers. Chocolate makers make chocolate from scratch, starting with the cacao beans; chocolate melters start with chocolate and melt it and add stuff to it. And Theo is the first Fair Trade chocolate company. Also all the chocolates that they make are Organic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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I tasted the 85% dark chocolate and I really liked it. But most other people disliked it, probably because it was bitter and most people don’t like bitter tasting food. The only bitter food I like is dark chocolate.

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I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Theo Factory, and got lots of free samples, where I found out I loved cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are crushed cacao and has no sugar or milk powder. Theo chocolates has a lot of unusual and simple flavors that I enjoy. For example one of the simple ones is Mint and one of the unusual ones is Chai Tea. I love them both!! The Chai Tea reminds me of Indian restaurants.

Most cacao comes from the cacao line which is 20 degrees north and south of the equator. The Cocoa beans used to make chocolate come from the Theobroma Cacao plant. Which is what the Theo chocolate company is named after. The plant produces pods, which have seeds that are inside the Mucilage, which helps the seeds to ferment.

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I also learned how the chocolate was made! Our tour guide’s name was Molly. And she was good. I won’t tell you too much, because it will ruin the tour for you.

On the day that we went on the tour, the holding tank had 5,536 pounds of chocolate!!

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i really enjoyed the experience  but the room where they make the chocolate is very hot, so don’t wear a coat. And you have to wear a hair net, so no hair gets in the chocolate.

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At the end we ended up in the chocolate shop, where they had Theo chocolate that was only found at that shop, like the monkey bar! The monkey bar is this amazing milk chocolate bar with dried banana,pretzels,and almonds! It is limited edition, but it’s four dollars and is amazing! Also anything behind the glass wall is 10% off on the day that you take the tour.

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I really recommend going and taking the tour, it’s only six dollars! I hope to take a class at Theo’s Chocolate University one day!! If I do take a class, I will write about it here.

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Zeeks pizza review

By TheJarrett818

For the first time in my life, i went to a restaurant without an adult, with my friends. In this post, i will talk about my experience and how the food was. The very first time I went to a neighborhood pizza restaurant called Zeeks (with an adult), we ordered a ‘kitchen sink’*, a pizza with almost everything. It was a little more expensive, but only by a few dollars. It had bacon, mushrooms, sausages, you name it! So that was the first time i went.

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The second time i went to Zeeks, it was with my friends and no adults (there were four of us in total). We had a custom pizza, one with pineapple, basil, Canadian bacon, and bacon. I suggest you try it, it was an amazing pizza! We also got a ceasar salad, one of the best salads around, i think. We also got bread sticks, which my friends liked, but i didn’t. We also all got drinks, and the waiter came around a lot, asking if we needed refills. At the end we didn’t want to do the math for the tip, so we gave about a 40% tip, but the normal price was about $40 for a large pizza, a full salad, breadsticks, and 4 drinks and refills. I really enjoyed the pizza and I suggest that you go there.

 After eating we hung out at the park, but it was raining so we walked home. But we stopped at a convenience store and bought candy for dessert. 

 

*Kitchen Sink: Canadian bacon, pepperoni, Italian sausage, chicken, bacon, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, roma tomatoes, fresh garlic and fresh oregano layered over mozzarella and our fresh tomato sauce 

$18.95/small – $22.95/medium – $29.95/large

Chicken Stew with Olives

 by MightyMouse

My auntie Kim and uncle Brad gave me a cookbook called Silver Spoons for Children. The first dish that I cooked was Chicken Stew with Olives. Auntie Kim helped me. She put the cast iron pot in the oven, because it was very heavy and I couldn’t lift it.

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Step 1: read the recipe

Step 2: DO the recipe

Third thing….eat your food! That’s an order!

 

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While the stew was cooking in the oven, I made a salad and salad dressing. Uncle Brad made garlic bread.

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 My mom took pictures and drank wine while I was cooking.

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We usually have leftovers, but that day, we didn’t have any leftovers at all.

Chicken Stew with Olives
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Ingredients
  1. 4 large pieces or 8 small pieces of chicken such as legs or thighs.
  2. 1 tbs sweet butter.
  3. 1 tbs olive oil
  4. 1 1/4 cups black olives
  5. 1 (14-oz) can chopped tomatoes
  6. 1 tsp light brown sugar
  7. 1 sprig fresh parsley
  8. 4 fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. 1. Turn on the oven to 325 degrees F. Pull the skin away from the pieces of chicken (we didn't do this because we like the skin). Put the butter and oil in a heavy flameproof casserole dish, heat on the stove until the butter has melted, add the chicken pieces, and cook over medium heat for 5 min without touching the chicken.
  2. 2. Using tongs, turn the chicken pieces over - they should be a nice golden color on one side. Cook for another 3 min. Take off the heat.
  3. 3. Using a rolling pin, carefully squash an olive slightly so you can open it up and take the pit out. Do this with all the olives. (we didn't have to do this because we had canned olives without pits).
  4. 4. Pour the canned tomatoes over the chicken, fill the empty can with water, and add to the chicken with the olives and sugar, Stir with a wooden spoon, cover with a lid, and using oven mitts, put in the oven, and cook for 40 minutes.
  5. 5. Wearing your oven mitts, take the casserole dish out of the overn. Tear the basil and use scissors to snip the parsley. Sprinkle the herbs over the top and serve with polenta, bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes.
Modifications
  1. I doubled the recipe except for the olive oil and the chicken, we didn't exactly double it, we used 6 pieces of chicken because that's all the chicken we had. Also we used 2 kinds of olives.
Adapted from Silver Spoons for Children
Adapted from Silver Spoons for Children
Untainted Palate http://untaintedpalate.com/

 

Spaghetti Amatriciana

By MightyMouse

Recipe fromThe Silver Spoon for Children Cookbook

Spaghetti Amatriciana recipe

 On Sunday, I made Spaghetti Amatriciana for dinner. 

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First, I cut the bacon with scissors.

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Then I stirred the bacon. And then I added onions.

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Then I added two cans of chopped tomatoes.

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The recipe says to use 1 fresh red chile, but I used 1 1/2 tsp of dried chilies instead. Stir and let it simmer for 40 min. But stir it every ten minutes.

While it was simmering, I boiled the water and cooked the pasta. I also made a salad (you should make a salad too because it goes really well together) and salad dressing.

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Salad dressing: honey, mustard, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic powder, black pepper and olive oil. Mix it all together. I shook it up in a bottle.

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Salad: spring mix, spinach, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, tortilla strips, also tomatoes (my mom cut the tomatoes for me) and carrots.

 

Also I cooked a Sweet Italian Sausage in a frying pan.

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This is me serving the spaghetti with sausage.

 

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 It was very spicy but delicious and my family really liked it. My dad said that he thought that I put too much chili but I thought it was just spicy enough.

 

Spaghetti Amatriciana
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Ingredients
  1. 1 fresh red chile (I used 1 1/2 tsp of dried chilies)
  2. 3 1/2 oz pancetta or bacon (cubes or slices)
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 tsp olive oil
  5. 1 (14-oz) can chopped tomatoes
  6. 1 (14-oz) box of spaghetti
  7. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. If using fresh chile, cut chile in half, scrape out the white seeds (discard seeds); cut chile into small pieces (be careful not to touch your eyes & wash your hands right away!).
  2. 2. Using scissors, snip the pancetta or bacon into small pieces.
  3. 3. Chop onion into small pieces.
  4. 4. Put the olive oil into a heavy pan. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 3 min - the pancetta will change from bright pink to a paler pink as it starts to cook. Use a wooden spoon to stir the pancetta around in the pan.
  5. 5. Lower the hear, add the onion, and cook very gently for 10 min, stirring every now & then - you want to cook the onions unti they are soft.
  6. 6. Add the canned tomatoes & chile. Put the lid on the pan & leave over gentle hear for 40 min. You will need to check it every 10 min & stir. Add a little more water if the sauce starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. The sauce will become thick & deep red in color as it cooks.
  7. 7. When your sauce is nearly ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil & cook the spaghetti. Ask an adult to help you drain the spaghetti & put it back into the pot.
  8. 8. Taste the sauce & add freshly ground black pepper, ladle the sauce over the pasta, & mix everything together. Serve immediately.
Modifications
  1. 1. I used 1 1/2 tsp dried chilies - it was quite spicy; but we like very spicy food! I recommend just using 1/2 tsp dried chile to substitute for 1 fresh chile.
  2. 2. I doubled the recipe, but I didn't double the amount of olive oil or onion.
  3. 3. I added a little bit of balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and fish sauce.
Adapted from The Silver Spoons for Children
Adapted from The Silver Spoons for Children
Untainted Palate http://untaintedpalate.com/