Thursday, January 5, 2012

Easy Orange Chicken

One of my favorite Asian cuisines have always been orange chicken. I learned this easy recipe two years ago and never forgot it. Most of the time comes from preparing the chicken. I recommend using boneless chicken for ease.

Orange Chicken

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar Orange Marmalade
1 packet of Onion Soup (like Lipton)
Oil for Frying

1.) Cut the boneless chicken in pieces and dust it in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper.

2.) Warm vegetable oil on medium heat and dip chicken in oil to fry.

3.) When the chicken reaches a golden brown, remove the pieces from oil and set aside.

4.) In another large pan, mix orange marmalade with a dry packet of onion soup mix. Stir under heat until the orange marmalade/onion mix becomes a liquid form.

5.) Stir the chicken in the orange marmalade/onion mix slowly for even distribution.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Feel the Music!

Lately I have been trying to practice musicality during belly dance practices. It seems so beautiful when dancers are involved in the music. This has become a goal of mine. It's like they are playing the instruments themselves. In the Dance Spirit article, "Musicality Matters: How To Become a Musical Dancer" , Wade Robson described the meaning of musicality. "Musicality is understanding music on a technical level, and then dropping all of that knowledge so you can sit deep inside the music.” In practices, I tried to think less of what moves I should do next. When I didn't focus on how I performed and how I should execute moves, I was able to enjoy the music.

There’s one technique mentioned in the article by Robson that really helps me:

Find a song you like and listen to it as you normally would. “Just take it in,” Robson says. Then play it again, but listen only to the drum. Block out every other sound and follow the drum through the entire piece. Does it change? Does it stay the same? Play the song a third time, focusing on another instrument, like the piano. Repeat this exercise until you’ve followed every instrument in the song. “You might have to listen 20 times, depending on the complexity of the song,” Robson says. “The last time you listen, take in the whole song again. You’ll be able to hear both the instruments individually and the tune as a whole. And you’ll be able to freestyle and dance to rhythms you never heard before. It will change your life as a dancer.”

By listening to a song repeatedly, the memory of the melody becomes familiar. Sometimes a song I've known for years would suddenly sound different as if I listened to it for the first time. It made dancing feel easier and more enjoyable. I highly recommend this article. It has plenty of valuable tips for dancers of all styles. By learning musicality, it could help me become a better dancer. In order to help me understand music better, I created a playlist for each mood of music.

1.) Smooth Moves ( Slow music, instrumentals, nonrhythmic taqsims and other music)

2.) Veil (The same as above but with more drums)

3.) Hip Pops (Drum solos, Upbeat Tribal Fusion music)

4.) Belly Hops (Turkish, La Caravane Passe, Energetic music, zills)

The last two titles were funny at the time...