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Point and Shoot

RAW not War

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Photo Adventures

 

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Mobile Madness

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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Photo Adventures

 

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Feeding Monsters!

Getting your kids to eat is an uphill battle parents have to fight on a daily basis, and more often then not, we grown-ups end up on the losing side. I constantly have to come up with new and interesting ways of serving food to my kids (3.5 yrs and 1.75 yrs).

Just a few days back, my wife and I were having some mac-and-cheese for dinner. As usual, the kids were in no mood to eat and well, I just had this insane idea to feed them some plain macaroni using a very unique approach (see photo below). Both my kids ate their fill and thoroughly enjoyed their meal, all the while trying to scare each other with their fake monster nails.

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I hope this helps some poor couple in distress and keeps their children enjoying this fun way of eating for at least a couple of weeks; then boredom will kick in and the cycle shall start all over again.

Que sera, sera. :)

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Essays on Life, Parenting

 

Piri Piri Chicken Cutlets

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Ever since I first tried Nando’s some ten years back, I have been obsessed with the global phenomenon that is peri-peri; just thinking about the tangy-spicy flavor gets my mouth watering. I have been searching far and wide for the secret behind the peri-peri sauce, the infamous ‘African Birds-eye Chilies’ (a.k.a. piri-piri), so that I can try making the sauce at home, but until I do, I’ll have to settle for some store-bought (read uber-expensive) Nando’s sauce.

Ramadan is a time to thank Allah for all the bounties he has bestowed upon us; it is also a time for specially prepared feasts and platters full of delicacies to be shared with everyone (especially those less fortunate). After not having anything to eat or drink for almost fifteen hours daily, your mind naturally tends to think about food (a lot) and you cannot help but obsess over what needs to be cooked for the iftar (breaking of the fast at sunset). While fasting a few days back, I started lusting for some peri-peri goodness and thought of trying something new using the sauce as a key ingredient. Here’s what I came up with and believe me, it turned out fantastic; easy to make, perfectly crunchy, spicy and cheesy. It’s everything you’d want in a dish to satiate your Ramadan cravings.

This recipe here serves THREE people.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (cut horizontally into ½-inch thick fillets)
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp Nando’s Hot peri peri sauce (you can choose to go for mild)
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4-5 slices of cheese (alternatively, you can go for a shredded mozzarella + cheddar combo instead for that rich thready texture)
  • 3-4 cups oil (for frying)

Method 

  1. Put the chicken fillets along with THREE tablespoons of peri-peri sauce into a bowl and mix well, ensuring that each piece is coated perfectly
  2. Set it up in the refrigerator for TWO to THREE hours to marinate; this step can be reduced to half-an-hour too but two to three hours gives the best results (taste-wise)
  3. Whisk eggs and milk in a bowl to make an egg-wash
  4. Take two plates and fill one with flour (add salt and pepper as seasoning to the flour) and the other with the bread crumbs
  5. Take a piece of chicken and coat it with the flour; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  6. Next, dip the chicken into the egg-wash; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  7. Finally, take the egg-washed chicken and drop it into the crumbs; ensure to coat properly and remove any excess
  8. Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 till all pieces have been coated properly
  9. Set it aside for FIFTEEN minutes to air-dry
  10. Here you actually have a choice: you can either (a) pan sear the chicken using a few tablespoons of olive oil or (b) deep fry it on medium heat till the chicken is tender and has a crisp-golden coat on either side – I prefer the deep-fried version
  11. As soon as you take the chicken cutlet out of the pan, add a slice of cheese (or the shredded combo) on top to allow it to melt
  12. In a separate bowl, mix two tablespoons of peri-peri sauce with cream cheese and mayonnaise to make the sauce; add some milk if you want to adjust the consistency
  13. Spread some sauce at the base of a plate and put the chicken cutlet on top
  14. Other garnish options include jalapenos, olives, spiced feta cheese, and even some tomato ketchup (if you’re really that into it)
  15. On the side, you can choose to add french fries or Peri Bites

All my Muslim readers will agree with me that coming up with something tantalizing (and different) for iftar each day is something we all fret over. Hopefully, this recipe will give you a much-needed additional option and will earn you some praise from children and adults alike. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Culinary Ecstasy, Food and Drinks

 

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Dude Looks Like A Lady!

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Of all the things in the world, I would never ever in a million years want to be a male LADY-bug. Think of all the cruel jokes the other insect species would make; it just gets my head spinning. Having said that, I’ve always wanted to see these beautiful creatures up-close and luckily while visiting the Kenilworth Castle last year, I stumbled upon a few of these hiding inside the pavement cracks. Their vibrant polka-dotted exteriors give them a very happy-go-lucky feel, but on closer inspection, I saw something that actually made me sad. This particular bug, shown in the picture above, has a dent in its (gender unknown) left wing; I don’t know what might have caused it, but I really felt for the little guy/gal. It kind of made me reflect how fragile we all are, and that no matter how happy we may seem on the outside, all of us harbor some sadness within.

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A short while later, I saw another bug approaching the dented one and both of them receded further into the crevice, crawling at their respective paces, together. It was refreshing to see how the dent on one’s wing did not seem to have an impact on their mutual relationship. We all have our flaws (visible or not), some major, some minor, but in order to truly accept each other, we need to look past them and love each other unconditionally; funny how a couple of bugs can inspire you to understand the nature of things in general.

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So Into You

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Flowers are something that have always fascinated me; macro photography opens up a way to explore this passion on an entirely new level. From the intricate patterns ingrained within to the vein-like tributaries on the petals, everything is mesmerizing; you finally get to appreciate what your high-school biology (botany) teacher tried so hard to get into your thick skull. Here are some of my favorite shots; enjoy!

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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Photo Adventures

 

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Insanity has a new home!

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Greetings Friends!

Today marks a big day for this blog. I’ve been thinking of getting my own domain but have always been skeptical about it. After a lot of deliberation (which took me almost 3 years), I finally indulged myself and bought www.yousufbawany.com. Hallelujah!

This could not have been accomplished without your support (yes, I’m referring to you, dear followers/fellow bloggers). The love that you have extended to me over the past few years has helped me progress on this journey of self-discovery and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Your kind words have helped push me to my creative limits and beyond and I truly appreciate that; I’ve realized that making people happy is what makes me happy, and this is just the beginning.

The metamorphosis is complete; I’m ready to fly.

Cheers,
Yousuf

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Essays on Life

 

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