Posted April 3rd, 2014 by Duken

End the sexual harassment

Once a person has realized that her personal space has been violated, ending this violation becomes her first priority. Some confront the harasser; others turn to the harasser’s manager or follow the ways suggested by the sexual harassment policy. Yet others simply quit their job to escape the situation. While creating a distance between the victim and the perpetrator is certainly an important step, it usually does not automatically resolve the issue for the victim.

Stay in Job

Victims usually want to keep their current job or an equivalent position, and to continue in their chosen career path.

Come to terms with the experience

Each victim comes to term with the experience in her own unique way, but the process often involves the following observations.

  1. I need to stand up for myself.
    If I do not protect and assert my personal space, nobody will do it for me. Even if the perpetrator’s actions are illegal, it is possible that nobody will stop him unless I take steps to defend my rights.
  2. I need to find my priorities.
    Even if a victim is very assertive she will often find out that it is unrealistic that all her wishes will be granted. This does not mean that she is overly demanding. There are often conflicts between simple demands such as working in a harassment-free environment and continuing one’s career, or wanting justice and wanting to move on with one’s life.The victim needs to decide what is of primary importance to her, and act accordingly.
  3. I need to be true to myself.
    Sometimes victims set specific priorities, decide on how they will act but then cannot follow through. For example, the decision to simply bear the harassment in order to enjoy one’s career might end in failure. Victims learn to pay attention to and be honest about their feelings, teaching them what they really want and need.

Pursue Justice

When victims realize how painful their experience was (or still is), they usually want to make sure that the perpetrator will be held accountable for inappropriate behavior so that nobody else has to go through a similar experience. While this is certainly laudable, victims should realize that they are likely to encounter a lot of resistance in their search for justice, which can add to their sense of powerlessness and increase their pain even further. They should also realize that seeing the perpetrator punished may not give them the closure they desire; they still have to come to terms with the experience of powerlessness. This is not to say that victims should not pursue this issue, but they need to consider carefully if they have sufficient strength and commitment at this point, and whether this is really important to them. Since a lot of pain can be involved in this process, friends should be careful not to push a victim in this direction. One possibility to consider is to first emphasize the personal healing, and to then pursue the issue of justice with renewed strength.

Get on with life

Every victim wishes at some point during the ordeal that she could just forget about the whole thing and move on with her life. This issue cannot be pressed, however, and is not facilitated by encouragement of impatient friends. The experience has been too unsettling and painful and needs to be processed before the victim will be ready to move on. Sometimes victims are held back by the sense that they have a moral obligation to make sure that the case is properly handled, and that no other woman has to suffer as they did. While pursuing justice can feel very rewarding and give the victim a sense of making a positive contribution, the conscious choice to let go of the inflicted injustice and being able to move on with one’s life can be a very empowering experience as well.


Posted April 3rd, 2014 by Duken

People involved in sexual harassment often find themselves confronted with behavior they cannot comprehend.  Victims are wondering why the harasser is behaving in a way that is so offensive to them and why they cannot get him to stop; alleged harassers are wondering why someone they trusted would turn against them and unfairly accuse them; colleagues are trying to understand why the victim did not defend herself better; partners are asking themselves why the investigation of the incidence apparently takes forever; and friends are wondering why the victim makes such a big deal of the episode instead of simply moving on with life.

Understanding Sexual Harassment

One goal for this website is to contribute to a better understanding of what goes on during a typical incidence of sexual harassment, and what motivates the behavior of the main “players”.  We are striving towards a balanced view that is fair to all the parties involved. We would hope that you, the reader, will feel encouraged to share some of your unique experiences with sexual harassment with us, because a truly accurate picture of what sexual harassment is like can emerge only if many different people with different views and expertise contribute to this site.

Building a Community For Healing

Sexual harassment can be a very painful experience, and often those involved feel isolated from their friends, colleagues, or community in general.  Our goal for this website is to provide a forum for all those concerned about sexual harassment. We want this website to be a place where they can voice their concerns, share their experiences, and find a community where they feel understood.

Educating the Public About Sexual Harassment

Finally, we hope this website can contribute to raising awareness. While many potential harassers are informed what behavior is acceptable and what is not, most do not understand how devastating the experience can be for the victim.  In other words, they realize harassment is illegal but they nevertheless consider it rather harmless.

This attitude, which also seems to resonate with the general public, cannot be changed by any policy or law.  It can only change if victims overcome their shame and speak out.  Victims honestly sharing their experiences may be the most effective way of preventing sexual harassment, or at least reducing its prevalence.

Some Benefits of Exercise

Posted April 2nd, 2014 by Duken

“And when you are finished with one task, still labor hard.”  Holy Quran

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”  Jerry Rice

This is a post about Exercise. I have written before about the benefits of working out 7 days per week. I really try to get in my daily work out even with a hectic schedule. By all means I work out 6 days per week with isometric exercise, but shoot for seven. Most people use the same excuse of not having enough time to exercise. I say right on, there isn’t enough time that’s why you must make the time! You think you are busy, let me give you my schedule. First of all I am a husband and father of two. I work full time as a Senior Accountant. I also have an accounting business. I am also a graduate student working on my MBA. I am also an Associate Imam at my mosque where I give regular khutbahs and classes. I can go on, but I think you get the point. What gives me the energy to do all of this?

Alhamdulillah, I thank him for the energy and vigor. I feel great about life. I am happy, healthy, and grateful for everything Allah (SWT) has blessed me with. When you start exercising at least 6 days per week, you will find that you have more energy to accomplish more in other areas of your life. I remember when I wasn’t exercising but only a couple of days per week and eating a poor diet. My life was FULL of drama. My relationship with my family was mediocre; I was tired all the time and struggling with school and work. Each day I woke up and went to work, I was ready for the day to be over with.

Every Friday I would be saying along with the others; Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF). Now I say; Thank God I’m Focused! When I began to work out more and eat better, everything in my life began to come together easily. The more consistent I was with my workouts; more opportunities came my way, my relationships got better, and my confidence increased. I became more assertive and the drama faded away. It took me a while to put 2 and 2 together.

Try exercising daily, eating WHOLE foods, cut out the caffeine and watch and see. You too will become more assertive, walk with Halal Swagger, gain more confidence and most importantly become more productive. You will find that you don’t need to sleep 8 or more hours every day. You will no longer wake up feeling sluggish and running for the coffee pot or tea bag. If you don’t have time to make it to a gym or cant afford it; there are some great dvds for purchase. Also there are callisthenic exercises one can do in the comfort of their home. You can also go for a run three to four times per week.

The main thing is that you must sweat and get your heart rate up daily. Life can be incredible! You too can go through life with energy and vigor every day. You don’t have to have “on and off” days. Start exercising daily and everyday will be a great day. Even the days you have challenges (notice how I didn’t say problems), your exercise and proper diet will give you the strength of mind and confidence to tackle them and find solutions. Allah wants the believers to have the energy and enthusiasm to enjoy life, every day of their life. “And seek with what Allah has given you the hereafter; but don’t neglect your share of this world.” Holy Qur’an.

Pumpkin Recipe

Posted April 17th, 2016 by Marita

Pumpkin Maple Spread

Ingredients you will need:

( 4 ) 8oz. Cream Cheese ( soften at room temperature )

 4 1/2 cups of Confectioners powder sugar

 1  stick of margin ( soften at room temperature )

 1 1/4  teaspoon of maple flavoring

1 ( 15 oz. ) can of Pumpkin pie filling

Mix in a very large bowl.

Place soften cream cheese at room temperature in large bowl.

Use a mixer on low speed and very slowly begin to mix soften cream cheese, ( beaters will need to be scraped off a couple of times when mixing the cream cheese ).  

 Then add the soften margine to cream cheese, still mixing slowly ( beaters will need to be scraped off a couple of times when mixing the two together ).

Add 1 1/4 of maple flavoring to mixture, and slowly mix together.

Now add the can of pumpkin pie filling. Still beating slowly until ingredients are blended well.

Add 1 cup of confectioners powder sugar at a time mixing slowly until well blended.

This will thicken up as you add the confectioners powder sugar.

May use pumpkin flavoring or pumpkin spice instead of a can of pumpkin pie just decrease the confectioners powder sugar by 1 cup, and use 1 1/2 teaspoons of the pumpkin flavoring, add this in after you add the maple flavoring.

This works well served on a bagel or on donuts. Can even be spread over pancakes instead of maple syrup.

Can be spread over a pound cake, angle food cake or a white cake.

Works well with Thanksgiving holiday.  Can be served with crackers of your choice as a dip.

Recipes for Flavored Butters

Posted April 16th, 2016 by Marita

Flavored butters can give a unique aroma and taste to ordinary dishes and are very easy to make. Flavored butter is simply butter combined with other ingredients, such as fresh herbs, spices, fruits and liqueurs. The basic recipe for all flavored butters is to completely blend softened butter and the flavor ingredients using an electric mixer. Let the mixture stand for 1 hour  for flavors to be absorbed. Flavored butter can be rolled into a log and tightly wrapped in waxed paper, pressed into molds, formed into balls using butter paddles or spooned into ramekins. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap before refrigerating or in freezer bags before freezing.  Refrigerated butters can be kept up to 1 week, while frozen butters can be kept for 3 weeks.

Brandy Steak Butter is excellent on grilled or broiled steaks. Combine 1 cup softened butter, 1 ounce brandy, 1  tablespoon each of fresh ground black pepper, finely chopped basil and 1 clove minced garlic, beating with mixer until completely blended. Form into log with wax paper, tightly seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Place slices of butter over steaks, allowing to drizzle over before serving.

Chive Butter is delicious over baked potatoes, corn on the cob and other vegetables. It can also be used to baste poutly and fish. Simply blend 1 cup softened butter with 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives and 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper. Spoon into ramekins, wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Horseradish Butter is great on steaks, ham or pulled pork sandwiches. It also gives a special taste to grilled vegetables such as asparagus or cubed potatoes. Just combine 1 cup softened butter with 2 tablespons each of horseradish and fresh minced chives. Form into log, wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Herb Butter gives a special zing to chicken, fish or vegetables, and can be used to baste while cooking. Mix 1 cup softened butter with the juice from 1 whole lemon and 1 teaspoon each of fresh, finely chopped thyme, basil and parsley. Form into log or press into ramekins, wrap and refrigerate.

Italian Herbs Butter is delicious on grilled foods or it can be used to baste meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. This flavored butter is very tasty when spread on Italian bread hot out of the oven. Mix 1 cup softened butter with 1 tablespoon each of freshly chopped basil and oregano and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Roll into log and wrap, or spoon into ramekin and refrigerate until ready to use.

 Strawberry Butter is a wonderful topping for pancakes, waffles and French toast. Simply combine 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 2 taplespoons of strawberry preserves Do not use jelly or jam as a substitute.. Press into small star-shaped molds. Wtrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

 Honey Vanilla Butter is a smooth, mild-flavored butter that can be used on pancakes or waffles. Combine 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/2 cup of honey with electric mixer. Slowly add 1/2 cup whipping cream, beating until light and fluffy. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix thoroughly. Spoon into ramekin and refrigerate until meal is ready to be eaten.


How to Make Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

Posted April 15th, 2016 by Garth

Cucumber yogurt sauce, more commonly known as tzatziki is a very popular dish in the Mediterranean and with good reason. It is a refreshing, delicious dish that is packed full of nutrients. It is great for dipping vegetables or even falafel into, it’s also great for spreading on top of chicken for a unique cold salad.

Another advantage to this cucumber yogurt dip can be made in large batches and kept in the fridge for up to a week.

In order to make this delicious sauce you will need:

A large tub of plain, low fat yogurt

1 lemon

1 large cucumber

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. parsley

The first thing you will need to do is peel your cucumber, make sure that it is completely peeled as no skin should be left on or it will not blend properly. Once you have done this then you will need to seed the cucumber, you can do this by slicing the cucumber in half length ways and using a teaspoon to scrape the seeds out. Try to keep as much flesh as possible. Once you have peeled and seeded the cucumber then you will need to either finely dice or grate it

Add 8oz plain yogurt into a bowl and then add the diced or grated cucumber, for a completely smooth dip you can blend these ingredients in a food processor or for a sauce with more texture you can simply stir them.

The next thing you need to do is peel all of the skin away from the clove of garlic and mince it finely. Add this to the bowl containing the cucumber and yogurt and then add the juice of half of the lemon. Try to avoid letting any lemon seeds fall into the dip and if they do you need to try and remove them.

The next step is to chop the parsley as finely as you can, the parsley will add a really subtle flavour to the sauce but it needs to be chopped as finely as possible. Once you have chopped it then add it to the mixture and either stir or blend. Many people add dried parsley to the sauce instead of fresh parsley, this is much easier to use and does not require any chopping.

Add salt and pepper to taste and then refrigerate the entire mixture. Serve chilled and with a sprig of fresh parsley on top to garnish.

You can add other ingredients to the mixture if you want to make a variation on this sauce; some popular choices are chopped chillies, vinegar or even limes.

Sources; Nigella online.

Homemade Mustard Recipes

Posted April 14th, 2016 by Lakenya

With the abundance of commercially prepared mustards available, you might question the notion of making your own mustard. The fact is, it’s easy, inexpensive and a great way to make a mustard custom-suited to whatever you’re having for dinner that night. Homemade mustard can be made either from seeds or mustard powder. When making mustard from powdered mustard all you need is a bowl, some mustard, liquid, and a spoon. Making from seeds you’ll need a blender or food processor for grinding.

All you need is to mix equal parts mustard powder and water to make a simple paste. Add some sugar to cut mustard’s natural heat and you’re set. Your mustard’s flavor can be easily changed with the addition of herbs, spices, salt, or sweeteners. Below are some recipes that will be great on sandwiches or for use in sauces. Once you’ve gotten the hang of making some of these mustards, get creative. Substitute out some of the liquids, creating your own deli, stone ground, or honey mustards.

Beer Thyme Mustard

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds

1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds

3/4 cup English Brown Ale

1 Tbsp mustard powder

1 Tbsp onion flakes

2 tsp thyme

1/2 cup cider or apple cider vinegar

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

1) Soak the mustard seeds in beer overnight. The next day add the mustard powder, onion flakes and thyme to the soaking mustard seeds and allow to sit for a half hour.

2) Place the mustard mixture in a blender along with the vinegar and salt. Grind until it’s the consistency of a paste, with some seeds remaining visible.

3) Transfer to a glass jar, cover and let stand 4-5 days before using. This gives the mustard a chance to let the flavors blend. When ready for use, store mustard in the fridge.

Grainy Mustard With Sun Dried Tomatoes

1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds

4 sun dried tomatoes soaked in oil

1 cup dry white wine

4 tsp mustard powder

1/4 white wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1) Soak the mustard seeds in the wine overnight.

2) Combine the seeds with the tomatoes and remaining ingredients in the container of a blender. Grind to a paste.

3) Transfer to a glass jar, cover and refrigerate 4-5 days before using.

Again, this allows the flavors to blend together. When ready for use, transfer to the fridge and use as desired.

Flavored Butter Recipes

Posted April 14th, 2016 by Deadra

Also known as compound butter, flavored butters are a wonderfully versatile addition to many dishes. Flavored butters are made by blending softened butter with other ingredients such as fresh herbs, garlic, or spices. The butter is then rolled into a log, sliced, and added to the dish. Most often, flavored butter is used as a condiment or as a flavoring for grilled steaks and seafood, but can also be great additions to sauces or a creative way to baste meats as they cook. Although compound butters can be made with a blender or food processor, they’re very easy to make by hand.

The key to making your compound butter is allowing it to come to room temperature. You can tell the butter is softened properly because it gives slightly when pressed without cracking or separating. What follows are some recipes for flavored butter. Any of them can be used on grilled meats (steaks or pork for instance) or as a condiment or ingredient in your favorite sauce. 

Blue Cheese Butter

8 Tbsp butter

1/2-1/3 cup blue cheese

1) In a medium bowl combine the butter and blue cheese, mixing well. 

2) Place the flavored butter on a piece of waxed paper. Form it into a rough cylinder and wrap it up.

3) Put the flavored butter in the fridge and chill until firm. Slice and serve on top of grilled steaks

.A-1 Parsley Butter

1/2 lb butter, room temperature

1/4 cup A-1 sauce

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1) In a small bowl combine the butter, A-1, parsley, salt and pepper and mix well.

2) Place on a piece of waxed paper and roll into a rough cylinder.

3) Place in the refrigerator and chill until firm. Slice the butter and place pats on top of your favorite oven baked beef casserole, reserving the rest to be served along the side.

Chilli Butter

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

4 tsp chilli powder

1.5 tsp lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1) In a small bowl combine the butter and other ingredients and mix well.

2) Place on a piece of waxed paper and roll into a rough cylinder.

3) Place in the refrigerator and chill until firm. Slice the butter and place pats on your favorite grilled steak or pork chops. They can also be placed under the skin of whole or cut up chicken before roasting in the oven.

Texas Chili Cheese Dip

Posted April 13th, 2016 by Terrell

I am a native Texan. Being a Texan has its advantages. We are famous for our barbecues. We have great sports, great outdoor activities, and Texans absolutely know how to throw a great party. Whether it’s game day, an office party, or just game night with the family, we have great party food down to a science.  One of our family’s favorite party foods is Chili Cheese Dip.  This spicy, creamy dip is perfect any time.  We serve it with tortilla chips and avocado slices.  Sometimes we just have it for dinner.  Goes great with cold beer.

Texas Chili Cheese Dip 

1  lb ground beef

3T  chili powder

1T  ancho chili pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1  med. yellow onion, diced small

1  red bell pepper, diced small

16 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)

1 15oz can diced  tomatoes with green chile peppers

Brown the ground beef with the chili powder, ancho chili pepper and garlic in a skillet over medium high heat.   When beef mixture is about halfway done, add onions and peppers.  Cook until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.  Add the cream cheese and tomatoes and stir until cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.  If you like, after the meat and peppers are done, you can put everything into a crockpot and simmer for about 30 minutes.

This dip works great for an office party as you can just leave it alone until the party starts and it will stay hot and good.  At home we usually serve this dip in a fondue pot or bean pot so that it stays hot while we party.  I love simple cooking that tastes good. I hope you like it too.

Cornish game hen is a wonderfully versatile poultry it can be stuffed and baked, boiled and grilled all methods of cooking bring out this little birds gamy flavor very nicely. Grilled Cornish Game Hen with rosemary is a recipe that can be served anytime and for any occasion, consider Cornish game hen for your next Thanksgiving holiday dinner. Cornish game hen can be dressed up to be a beautiful main course at any dinner party or as a regular dinner time meal. The great thing about the Cornish game hen is that it is great for individual portions there is just the right amount of meat per person. With this recipe if more birds are required then the ingredients are easily adjusted to fit your serving size. The recipe can also be tweaked to create your own flavor palette consider instead using a sweet glaze using brown sugar and cinnamon or mint and basil.

Ingredients for grilled Cornish game hens with Rosemary

3 Cornish game hens (1 ½ pounds each)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½  cup lemon juice
2 tablespoon black peppercorns coarsely chopped
2 sprig of Rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped fresh parsley


Rinse Cornish hens in cold water and set aside to allow hens to dry.

In a medium mixing bowl combine lemon juice, pepper and parsley and allow to sit for about 15 minutes to allow flavors to mix.

Get the grill started consider charcoal grilling with this recipe preferably mesquite charcoal this gives the birds an extra flavor kick.

Rub down your hens with the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle each bird with your salt.

Take your sprigs of rosemary and place them on the coals of your grill.

Place your hens on the grill breast down and cook for 40 minutes.

Take your lemon juice mixture and squeeze a about half the juice out of mixture.

Turn the hens now breast up on the grill and rub the lemon mixture over top spreading the mixture evenly over each hen close grill lid and allow to cook another 5 to 10 minutes until the thighs of the birds move easily and juice runs clear.

Serving size is three. Consider serving with a rice side dish.

Ingredients for saucy peas and rice

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 package green peas (10oz bag)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of milk
1 ½ cups minute rice


Heat butter in large skillet, add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are a beautiful golden brown color.

Add peas, soup, milk and your pepper bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium cover and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add your rice replace cover and remove skillet from heat.

Let rice mixture stand for about 5 minutes remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Pumpkin Maple Spread Recipe

Posted April 12th, 2016 by Jarod

Pumpkin Maple Spread

Wondering what to do with all the extra pumpkins in your garden this year? This is a great recipe to use those extra pumpkins up. Or perhaps you were cleaning out a cupboard and found a few extra cans of pumpkin puree. Whatever the case, this recipe will help you to use it up and enjoy it at the same time.

An unusual spread for those times when you want something just a little bit different.

This spread is delicious served over pancakes, waffles or even just toast. Careful, teens will want to eat it straight from the jar.


3 1/4 c. (*fresh baked or use 30 oz. can) pumpkin puree

1 c maple syrup (may use up to 1 and ½ cup according to taste if desired)

1/2 c. lemon juice

2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

4 1/2 c. sugar (use up to 6 cups if you prefer a sweeter spread)

Combine pumpkin puree, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves in large saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

Gently stir in maple syrup.

Slowly add sugar. Heat to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, Cook approximately 10 minutes or until spread holds it’s shape when dropped onto a cold plate (spread will thicken as it cools).

Remove from heat and skin off foam.

Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Seal. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Cool undisturbed for 12 hours. Makes about 12 half pints.

Serve chilled or warmed over your favorite breakfast pancakes, waffles or toast. You’ll also enjoy this delicious taste treat when you try it heated and used as an ice cream topping. For an unusual taste treat try spreading it between two slices of fresh bread and eat it like a sandwich.

No matter which way you serve it, this recipe is a winner with the entire family.

 * To bake pumpkin heat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Cut pumpkin open and remove seeds and stringy pulp. Slice pumpkin into sections and place on baking sheet cut side up. Bake until fork can easily pierce the pulp. Remove from oven. When pumpkin is cooled use a fork or spoon to remove pumpkin from skin and mash it up in a mixing bowl with a potato masher. This method works great for preparing your pumpkin for this recipe.

The Capital District in New York state is a great area. Much like Boston, we have a very diverse ethnic culture which includes a number of Asian cultures. It was this diversity that influenced me as a young chef to begin researching and cooking a variety of Asian cuisine. Recently I have been playing around with some traditional Chinese cuisine. By Chinese cuisine, I don’t mean the dishes you find at your buffet or take-out place, I am referring to dishes brought over by cooks that probably only cook these dishes in their homes or back in China.

There are a number of great shops to pick up traditional ingredients in this area. I personally shop at Kim’s Oriental on Central Ave. in Albany, Lee’s Market at 1170 Central Ave in Albany, and the Asian Food Market, LLC on Columnist Ave. in Albany. Asian Food Market is by far one of the better shops I have been to outside of Chinatown in NYC or Chinatown in San Francisco. A vast variety of fresh poultry, seafood, pork, and seafood, including live fish they will shock and cut to order for you on the spot.

On this last trip I picked up a number of things I do not use all that often. One of the most interesting was a fresh black skinned chicken called a Silkie. I have used these chickens before, but in the past I have always purchased them frozen. It is nice to have a place to get these items fresh. A warning to some of you squeamish types, in an Asian market the heads are usually still on much of the poultry when you purchase them as was the case with these fresh chickens. It is a sign of quality, much as in Italian culture, seafood is often served head on to show its freshness.

So I thought I would share a great traditional Chinese dish I prepared with the Silkie Chicken. This is a nice winter dish as it is a braise. Many might notice the extended period of time for braising this chicken and question why one would braise a chicken for so long. The Silkie is a small bird with a small amount of slightly tough flesh, this lends it to braised dishes which will create a pleasant fork tender meat. The Silkie chicken is also believed to have medicinal characteristics in Asian cuisine, so besides being tasty, perhaps it will cure some ailment you have as well.


2 Silkie chickens separated into four sections, 2 breasts, 2 legs and things (A normal 4-5 lb. chicken may be substituted)
5 tablespoons dark soy sauce or mushroom soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
4 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 small onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 1/2 tablespoons black bean sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/2 cup rice wine
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons sugar1/4 cup cilantro, minced


1. Rub the chicken pieces with dark soy sauce and let marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan when heated and add the ginger and garlic, quickly stir-fry until garlic begins to lightly brown.

3. Add the shallots and onion and stir-fry for a couple minutes, add the black bean sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and bring to a simmer, then add the stock and remove from heat.

4. Heat a cast iron pot over medium-high heat, add a couple Tablespoons vegetable oil and sear the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown.

5. Once all of the chicken has been browned, add the sauce to the pot with the chicken, bring sauce to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn chicken pieces over and let simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken from the pot and simmer uncovered to reduce the sauce to about 1.5 to 2 cups.

7. Place chicken pieces on a platter and top with sauce, sprinkled cilantro over the top.

Duck with peach sauce

Posted April 11th, 2016 by Sanora

Duck is a favorite dish for many, especially if you are a lover of Chinese cuisine. If you are looking for something a bit different than duck in orange, plum or Hoi Sin sauce, then duck In peach sauce is something you must try.

What You Will Need

1 2.25 – 2.7 kg duck, ready to be roasted
Salt and Pepper
5 ripe and firm peaches
240 ml orange juice
4 tablespoons of peach brandy or Southern Comfort or peach nectar
1 teaspoon of corn flour
2 teaspoons of water
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
Fresh watercress or parsley for garnishing


Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200 degrees.

Take the duck and rub it all over with salt and pepper. Place it breast up on a rack in a roasting tin and place it in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes.

As the duck roasts, take the peaches and peel them – dip them in boiling water for about 30 seconds and then in ice water to remove the skin. Then cut them into halves and remove the stones. Take 2 peach halves and puree them with the orange juice in a blender or food processor.

Take the other peaches and place them into a saucepan. Take the alcohol or the peach nectar and sprinkle them and then place to one side.

Take the duck out of the oven and pour the duck fat from the roasting tin. Then place the duck in the tin without the rack and pour the orange and peach puree over it.

Continue to roast the duck and baste occasionally with the sauce in the tray until the duck is cooked.

Transfer the duck from the tray to a carving board. Remove all the fat from the sauce and then place the tin over a moderate heat and bring to boil.

Take the corn flour and water and stir into the sauce. Simmer until it is thickened, stirring constantly.

Take the duck and quarter it. Warm the peach halves and then remove them from the saucepan and then remove with a slotted spoon. Then add the mustard to the pan and mix very well. Take this mixture and stir it into the sauce.

Serve the duck and peaches together and garnish with fresh watercress or parsley. The sauce is served separately.


Posted April 11th, 2016 by Arnold

Plumpy’nut is pretty much what it sounds like.  It is a very high calorie paste based on peanuts designed to encourage rapid weight gain.  It is used for starving children and is very effective.  A child can move from a state of desperate malnutrition to nearly healthy on a diet of this paste and its use in famine relief is obvious.  It has been credited with saving countless lives already. 

However alarm bells might have sounded when you saw the trade name.  Why does a simple substance, basically peanut butter with additions, have a brand name?  There is indeed controversy surrounding the production of Plumpy’nut.  The substance is patented and there is money being made. 

This was not at all what the inventor, Andre Briend, a paediatric nutritionist, wanted.  The aim was an easy substance to make that would provide very effective treatment of malnutrition.  An aggressively protected patent wasn’t exactly the idea.

However despite the ethical debate there is no doubt that Plumpy’nut is helping in famine relief situations.  The high concentration of fat, protein, sugar and vitamins is effective in small quantities, which is what starving children need.  They cannot eat large amounts of food at a time, however badly their bodies need this.  

Plumpy’nut is easily transported to famine situations and doesn’t spoil.  It also does not need water or other ingredients to prepare, making it ideal for emergency situations.  Its first use in the Sudan, when it was given to 30,000 children, apparently halved malnutrition rates.  Since then it has been given to over a quarter of a million children, mainly in Africa, and its effectiveness in treating malnutrition is indisputable.

The manufacturers, Nutriset, are still determinedly protecting their patent on the substance, battling any attempts to produce similar products.  These actions could be costing lives and you come back to the ethical question of whether any company should have the patent rights on a simple, famine relief product.  The equivalent of Plumpy’nut can be made, as has been demonstrated, with simple ingredients and a blender.  There is a demand from aid agencies for cheaper versions.

Nutriset have defended their position by saying they are protecting local partners in Africa from producers in the United States.  This particular issue is likely to continue for a long time, with Nutriset defending their monopoly against continuous challenges from would be competitors and from aid charities.  In some places the patent is simply being ignored in order to provide famine relief.

It is indisputable that Plumpy’nut is an incredible food.  It has made a huge difference in relieving malnutrition and helped to save thousands of lives.  It is to be hoped that the commercial angle is settled in such a way so the most children possible benefit from an effective treatment for malnutrition.




Japanese chicken and peas

Posted April 10th, 2016 by Lorie

This is a wonderful recipe for cooking up chicken breast, probably one of my favorites and it makes a meal that isn’t very expensive to fix. It is not only delicious but also very appealing to the eyes and it is nutritious, as well.


1 large, boneless chicken breast
4 Tbsp. peanut oil or sesame oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
1 and 1/2 cups fresh garden peas (I have substituted this with pea pods which are also very good)
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. dry wine
(Sake or sherry is good though I have used whatever wine I happened to have on hand)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp real lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp accent
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp cold water


Using a very sharp knife cut the raw chicken breast into cubes, bite size, about 1/2 inch in size. Pour your peanut or sesame oil into a large skillet and heat over medium low until hot. Reduce heat to low and add your chicken pieces and onion. Cook until the onion has become lightly limp and transparent and the chicken firm and white, stirring frequently.

Combine your remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. (About 12 to 15 minutes)

Serve your Japanese Chicken and Peas over rice and garnished with one or two cherry tomatoes sliced in half. Add a leafy green side salad, a whole grain roll and a beverage and you have a delicious, healthy meal most everyone will enjoy.