Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Have got loads of (food) photos to show you guys... Have just been quite lazy these days. Ack! Hoping to get em up soon. The blog's too quiet!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yum. Made a really delicious pasta.


1) Ordinary, boring, smoring, plain campbell mushroom soup (also add 1 can of = milk and water)
2) Garlic and onion (roughly chopped)
3) Leftover salsa (tomato, jap cucumber, chilli padi, onion, black pepper, salt, lime/lemon juice)
4) Basil leaves (from my OWN PLANT!)
5) Bacon
6) Pinch of mixed herbs
7) Linguine

1) Fry garlic and onions in olive oil till soft and brown
2) Add in can soup, plus the additional 1 can combination of milk and water
3) Stir till it smoothens out
4) Add in salsa and bacon
5) Throw in chopped basil
Keep stirring...

Meanwhile... Towards the end of the sauce-making...
1) Boil up your linguine till it is still a bit hard, just before hitting al dente (or you can have it al dente if you want a softer pasta at the end)

When sauce is done, just throw in the freshly cooked pasta.

Well, that's what i did. I realized tossing the freshly cooked pasta into another pot of hot sauce might cook it further and then make it softer than i would like. Which was a mistake. But good thing it was done slightly before al dente, so my pasta still had bite, which i like. Alternatively, maybe you could fish out the pasta first, let it cool before dumping it in with the sauce.

The result was delicious! And it didn't even taste like i used the boring old campbell soup. Yay!

It could have been better with some fresh prawns thrown in.
Was going through my old chemistry, mathematics and biology exercises (oh, the blood, sweat and tears...) from JC because i decided that i really needed to empty out the clutter for a new season in my life.

While flipping through the stacks of files with fullscape paper filled with my writing of solving sums, finding measurements of chemicals, etc, i found that i didn't quite understand or remember any of the stuff from math and chem anymore. (Bio was my pet subject though)

Goes to show how essential those things learnt at the A Levels really are to real life huh. I can only hope that the abstract/logical/creative/etc thinking that was suppose to develop as a result of all that torture actually happened. Otherwise, what in the world was all that FOR?! HAHAHA.
A couple of days ago, i was discussing adding a new bookshelf to my room with my mom. You know, to house my growing book collection on my profession and hobbies.

Then she said, "Aiya, you'll be married out and gone already..."

That struck a raw nerve in me that i never knew existed till that moment.
And now, it bothers me.
Going to BonitoChico's Birthday Bash tomorrow! I have no idea what to expect... And i don't know what to wear! It's at a club (Zirca), and i, er, have been to clubs as often as i've been to the North Pole. I imagine the place is going to be filled to the brim with lots of young, nubile, pretty, heavily made up girls. haha.

If it wasn't for Y, i'd be feeling pretty lost. and probably very old. haha.

Time to whip out a dress i've bought but never had the chance to wear... and definitely not something from BC.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Was reading some of my old posts. I think i'm pretty funny. hurhur.
In fact, i think i'm funnier online than in real life. Dangwabbit.

thought for the day

God made so many kinds of people and is always moulding all sorts of people to be who they were meant to be... Like, people...

who have keen business sense... to make money and give it away (hopefully)
who go through pain and hurt (or otherwise) to bring healing to the hurting
who are artistic, bringing another dimension of beauty that touches the hearts and souls of the beholders
who love probing into the realm of science, only to discover that there must be a higher brain behind all of it
who are annoying (at times or all the time)... to build patience and Godly love in the rest of us (haha, maybe this isn't biblical)

who do you think God made you to be? :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

4 Years and 11th month-sary present...

It was an ordinary monday morning at the lappie at the corner of my room when i felt my foot kick something as i shrivelled around on the rotating chair. I thought, there isn't usually something there...
I looked down and spotted THIS!
A Foreign Body! An Unknown Item in my Inventory! An Object without an Owner!
Whose is this?!

Starts to clue in on who was behind this...

Oh, it was definitely magic alright. I was STOKED!
And I slowly pulled this pretty-in-baby-pink, smooth finished, velvety to the touch, object of hyperventilation out from the brown package...

No, but seriously.
Yes, i was thrilled. Check. Happy that i got a new cookbook. Check. But what made me glow inside was the joy of seeing/experiencing a bit of my best friend on a seemingly same-same and ordinary monday (2 days ago). It's as if he was hiding in my clothes wardrobe the whole time over the weekend waiting for me to open the door to spring out and give me a big ole hug.
Except that he isn't actually there.
Surprises like these always remind me of the times when we first started going out doing the whole courting thing and also, well, doing the whole honeymoon thing after getting together. (I'm proud to say that our honeymoon period lasted quite a long time. :) At least from my point of view.)
It's almost 5 years on and he still speaks my love language(s).
He knows i love being surprised like this. He knows i like being given things. And he knows i love macarons. And cooking. And baking.
Tell me just how thoughtful is he?!
And I'm humbly reminded again of the many reasons why i fell in love with him in the first place, and that he sure is a keeper.
I've been wanting to clear my cupboard to free up space for new things to come. New books as references as i begin my profession in the counselling field, new cooking and baking books, etc. My room is fast running out of surfaces for all the new. But how about the old stuff? I remember an old post i wrote in 2007. Dang, i half wish i hadn't remembered...

(old post back in 2007, 2nd April)

"Old Papers"

Taking a break from staring at my lappie screen, i took a nice long stretch against the back rest of my study chair.

And i glanced up at my 3 shelved cupboard that still houses all the school work done in my past academic years, mostly from my junior college days, save for one biology file from my secondary 4 syllabus. Coloured files in yellow, black, blue and red, grey, papers chucked in between them in some order of subjects, thick textbooks that were seldom referred to but were there to give a sense of reassurance that information was within easy reach.

All of them speak silently and daily, reminding me (only when i take the time to look at them) of all the toil, tears (<-- seriously) and frustrations of the old, the failures and triumphs. And i realize that i may very well bring all of them with me till... We'll never really know.
Perhaps for as long as i can keep them. It's too difficult to throw them all away, for sentimental reasons.

Though I can't make sense out of whatever i read in them anymore (esp. chemistry) but somehow, these chunks and stacks of papers with my own handwriting scrawled all over in attempts to solve sums and problems, to write logical essays without smoking through them, every dot and scribble - they were a part of my thoughts, and of me, back then.

Mundane as they look sitting high up there above my head as i type my essays to be handed in to tutors from university, these representatives are from one of the hardest periods in my life, emotionally and mentally, will always bring back the nostalgia no matter where i am in life. With each passing year, i grow more attached to these physical "relics", serving as triggers and cues for me to be able to recollect the memories of those days past.

Why is it that i refuse to let go of the memories of hard times and the things that transport me back to it? Is that a seeming rule that applies to people in general, i wonder.

I guess hard times were when you saw yourself put to the test, to see what you were made of, to show yourself and unknowingly others as well, who you were when situations become pressing and hard to bear. It's during those times when you see yourself stumble through weaknesses, grappling for help or just sticking it through, even growing and discovering new strengths and revelations. You get to see who among you are the people you can or cannot depend on, and sometimes our search leads us to become jaded, indifferent or even more hopeful.

Quite obviously, tough times are never a walk in the park and when we eventually emerge from the shadows, we step out with battle wounds that leave a deep impression, and scars to remind us of the tale, to either tell of or hide it. We come out of it knowing that something profound happened inside of us.

Which is probably why we never, or find it hard to forget tough times. They're somewhat useful bittersweet tools, becoming fuel for anger that continues to burn inside, times we laugh or grimace over on hindsight, the experiences that we look back upon to see how far we've come in our personal growth, the basis from where we glean some of our most intimate lessons from.

How to clear my cupboard like this?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Poll and Thought for the Moment:

Do you think a guy should ask his potential in-laws for their daughter's hand in marriage before actually making the proposal, or should that practice become obsolete?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

i need to get this out of my system before my cortisol levels boil me up alive.

i was reversing into a parallel parking lot when the owners of the nice red toyota celica that was in front of me actually came and wanted to drive off. So common sense tells me to pause in my tracks in the middle of parking so that i don't hit the celica that was reversing backwards before driving off.

because the road was a narrow one, i was in the way of the driver behind me. due to the above situation, i couldn't budge for a few moments, BUT THIS EINSTEIN of a driver behind me started to horn.

and horn.
and hoooornnn...
and horn, horn, horn, horn, horn, horn, horn.

i tell you, i was so pissed off.

instead of horning the whole neighbourhood awake (it was night time in a dense housing estate), why don't you perhaps stop for a moment and LOOK FURTHER AHEAD TO SEE WHY I AM PAUSING?

sheesh. i passed my driving test you know. and i have a certain level of intellect that i wish you would at least respect.

didn't you learn that you should look at least 100m ahead of you? have you ever thought that perhaps there is a REASON for some things to happen?


Rant over.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I can't believe i had to do this, but i had to cancel brunch with a friend recently just because of this IBS nonsense.

My gut has been protesting recently and it's making me increasing frustrated. At the simplest foods, i get bloated disproportionately to the amount of food that i eat and yesterday and today, i even experienced pain. I used to get backaches and pain before when it used to be worse. I got better in the last few years, but now the pain has returned.

Things started to go downhill after eating a bowl of fish slice ban mian a few weeks ago. I got pretty bloated after that and it pretty much messed up my whole rhythm for the days to come.

Another ironic observation is, is that i'm still having these problems despite my efforts to eat healthier recently. As you would already know, I've always tried to eat balanced meals (carbo, fibre and protein in a meal). Recently, I have added more greens to my diet.

I wonder. Has the increased greens actually aggravated the condition? After all, more fibre = more gas. If this is true with respect to what's happening for me right now, then boy howdy, this really sucks because i've been eating more greens in hope to have better movement in the system and also to get the nutrients from vegetables that nutritionists and doctors always talk about!


Gem has kindly and very sweetly borrowed some books for me on digestion and the gut last week (ever since my complaints escalated) and i guess i need to take some of the suggestions in there seriously. Anyway, just wanted to take the chance to say thanks dear, you're awesome. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

recalling some recent cooking exploits

Jie made these rockin' cinnamon and brown sugar coated grilled pineapples. Sprinkle with mint leaves and lime juice if desired. To enjoy, you gotta love your sweets.
My tuna, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, and feta cheese (had chopped basil, thyme, rosemary and parsley) pasta salad.
Ingredients for one of Pioneer Woman's recipes... Tweaked a little though.
Just to help me remember that i buanged in fresh chopped basil.
And some lemon juice.
End result.
With mozzarella cheese and smoked cheddar cheese on top, with coarse black pepper.
Another pasta salad for one of our dinners.

I don't know why but while cleaning up my sister's weighted barbells, i suddenly remembered someone from a long time ago. It's a weird feeling that rises up. I don't regret having met the person, but yet, i can't help but furiously deliver mental kicks to myself. WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING?! And though i said i don't regret it, if i could do things over, i wouldn't even take the first tip-toe in that direction.

Confusing? Yeah, much.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

It was funny how on a sunday morning when i was suppose to be watching Inception and getting my brain all twisted up with Gem, i landed up pretty much all alone with nothing urgent to do sitting at the Food Basement @ 313.

The taglines stuck on decals on the walls surrounding me read: 'Food to Go for People on the Go'.
And I was going nowhere.

In those moments, two things happened. One, i had time to sit and talk to God and pray. Which was such an irony. I was more free being out than i would be if i were sitting at home. Two, a family that descended on the seats next to me really blessed me. Not that they did anything to or for me. All they did was, BE a family. From the way parents spoke to the children, and children to parents, you could tell that there is love in the home and mutual respect for one another.

Though i was either looking straight ahead (of course sometimes secretly glancing at the children from the corner of my eyes) or having my eyes closed, i was smiling inside.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I read an article today in Shape magazine and was stoked over this term: ethnobotanist. An Ethnobotanist is a scientist who studies how people use plants. So in the pages that followed, there were suggestions on how to make home remedies for ailments that can be treated with the medicinal properties in plants.

This just sparked in me a few things.

WHAT?! THERE'S SUCH A THING?!?!?! WHY DIDN'T I KNOW? I'D HAVE GONE AND LEFT AND STUDIED THIS! (and of course, get out of Singapore's boring, boring pool of occupations and university courses)

Okay, well, yes the above and...

1) Passion

Yesterday, mum asked me: "what is your passion?"
I answered: Animals.

On hindsight, i should have said "nature". I love nature. It calms and fascinates me. Brings me close to God. Nature is insane. That is, insanely creative, ingenious, overwhelming, encompassing, unified.

2) "Aromatherapy" (i use this term loosely) and other natural remedies isn't Evil

I disagree with the belief that using plants for healing and recovery is something that is "not from God", as some people may say.

Think about this for a moment. The very ingredients that modern medicine is derived from are cultivated from natural elements --> Plants/Organisms. Who created plants and organisms? God. So if Christians can see medicine as one way that God helps man to heal from sickness, why not plants?

After all, God CREATED these very plants to have their medicinal properties. He basically provided His children on Earth with, i quote Shape magazine, "an all-in-one living supermarket, pharmacy and home improvement centre". God is an extravagant God. He blessed us with nature and all it has to offer, for our benefit. And it isn't just for the pretty view.

So, it isn't as airy fairy or as "new age" as it's made out to be. As long as we know who created all of these, and thank Him, the One who provided.

(Back to Passion. I love things to do with health. beauty. i'm vain, told ya! but i share good tips too!. sports. music. food and cooking.)
(so what am i doing being a counsellor to humans? well... That's God's doing. :) it's the passion to follow His will even though it scares me BAD. i always have thoughts of running away. But there's something i heard recently: fear is used by satan to stop us from doing God's will because he doesn't want us going where we should. so how? Lean on God, His love (God is Love, yo.). And as the wise book says, there is no fear in love.

Yet, the truth is. I always had this feeling that being a counsellor is my calling for this season, but may not necessarily be so for the rest of my life. I don't know if people have heard me, but when i share my testimony of why i'm in this profession, i always add, "I definitely know that this is what God wants for me to do, for now."

There, i said it in black and white.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Last saturday, i was out of the house and trying to get to church on time. I had about 40min to get there but being a saturday, the buses usually take longer to come. I was running late because i had cooked and packed my own lunch for the day.

I had 2 options to get to church. On the same side of the road, i could wait for 92 which can take as long as 15 minutes to show up. Or, i could cross over to hop onto the 61. Which also takes ages to turn up, similarly, more so on saturdays. Weekend off peak kind of timings.

I refused to take a cab (unnecessary $ spent) and for someone with little time to waste, it was a gamble. Very often in the past, when i chose to cross over, i would see the 92 bus trundling along on the side that i had just forsaken and i'd mutter and grumble at Murphy for his stupid but ever so true, law of everything-that-can-go-wrong, will.

This time however, i turned to God. It was like a revelation. D'oh. God is all knowing, isn't He? Why didn't i think of this earlier.

Jo: *huffpuff*anxious* Okay God. Do you think you could tell me which bus will come first?
God: This side. 92 will come first.
Jo: *concurs*seems to get the same sense as well*

Meanwhile... Jo keeps swinging head looking back and forth to both ends of the roads. 92? 61? 92? 61? Come. ON! Time was ticking by.

And it's impossible to climb over the bridge and sprint in time to catch the bus on the other side. Especially in your saturday church best.

Boy, was i anxious. If you could see me, i looked like a very nervous meerkat.

Jo: *thinks* Come on! Either bus doesn't seem to be coming... (Roads looking devoid of either)
God: Don't you trust me?
Jo: But this is like, what if 92 doesn't come? Then it would be like, sheesh, that voice was just me talking to myself... I'm scared of that happening cos i want to know that it was you talking to me.
God: 92 will come first. It will.
Jo: Okay... *somehow feet stays implanted onto the ground*

Still swinging head back and forth looking at the roads.

10-15 minutes had already passed. Why do both roads look so empty?

God: Don't you trust me?
Jo: I do... Uh... But... (inside i was like, YEAH RIGHT?! You behaving like this doesn't seem to tell God that you do! But i can't help it...)

And guess what.

92 came. Spot on, with the contender bus 61 nary in sight.

And i got to church on time.

God, you ROCK. And you're pretty funny. And merciful to your silly daughter...

I need to practice hearing you better, Father.