I've been a bit depressed lately because there is a collective negative energy all around me that is getting to me just by sheer diffusion. I come home and see a stressed up sister mugging for A levels, I talk on the phone to a stressed up boyfriend churning out essays, rushing for submissions and making models, I go to work and again the air is thick with a general tired resignation over monotonous routine, unsympathetic bosses, troublesome experiments, and boring food.
Doesn't help that I'm already feeling rather crappy myself. And it is moments like these that I feel so drained and completely devoid of inspiration. It's really hard, this thing. At this rate I'm gonna start getting wrinkles and a saggy face soon. Is it this place? Or is it just me?
Damn it, maybe it's just the hormones.
Thank God, Jakarta tomorrow! Bubye.
Cheap Thril No. XXX
I had been eyeing this Lock 'n Lock glass container for a while but always resisted the frivolous urge because I thought it is stupid to spend good money on a lunch container. But just a few days ago I received some news about plastic containers releasing dioxins when heated in the microwave and how it causes cancer and all (and I always heat my plastic containers in the workplace microwave for lunch).
So I thought, what are we waiting for, right? Of course I went ahead and bought it. I would totally try harder to live longer if it only costs $12.90 and looks this nice :)
Edit: Just read another plastic-related news here. Hmm something to think about.
Labels: mumble jumbles
Becoming super domesticated, omg.
I had a really great weekend, generally speaking. The Great Eastern Run came and went, and I'm still alive. Ran about 4.5 km of the route and walked 0.5 km of it. Not too shabby at all, and I had a really good, long sleep that sunday night.
I'm a bit too darn lazy to write anything nowadays, but to cut the long story short, for the long weekend I really did a lot of cooking and baking, I kid you not. In fact, at this rate my blog might just become a food blog.
Saturday lunch, I did tuna pasta salad. Sunday, I baked my pumpkin cake! It was alright, but the pumpkin taste doesn't rock my socks enough that I'd be rushing to make it again. For dinner, I attempted such an elaborate feat in the kitchen (by my standard, at least), just because hey, I had all the time in the world. I used my Byron Bay coconut chilli sauce and mixed it with some yoghurt dressing to marinade several chicken breast fillets.
And a whole tray of cajun roasted vegetables because i figured we need all the antioxidants that we can get :)
I also made garlic roasted and herbed baby potatoes because we are a family of potato fiends. Here is a plate of the end products. The picture is crap as usual.
We had a few happy tummies that night :) On monday afternoon, I made pasta carbonara with angel hair pasta. Big mistake. the pasta was so fine and soaked up so much cream sauce that the whole thing was one lumpy tangled mass of noodles. The taste was good, but so very fattening that I could literally feel the evil-ness of it seeping into my body.
After lunch, I was cabbaging around and then I realised that I was really really itching to so something. So I rummaged around my kitchen cabinet for some yeast and flour and made Oregano bread.
The picture is crap because as mentioned, the lighting here is just absolutely hopeless. My brother, especially, had a lot of fun kneading and banging the dough around. Anyway, the bread took TWO hours to rise. And when I finally got it out of the oven I was momentarily horrified because How come it's so bloody hard?! Turned out that this was more of a baguette-like variety with hard crusts and all. The insides were soft and full of yeasty goodness :) Now to look for a soft-crusted bread recipe!
This afternoon, I had some of the leftover carbonara for lunch. And I felt like I've ingested enough cream and butter for a week that I came back and made some celery chicken salad with yoghurt dressing and blanched baby tomatoes and broccoli for lunch tomorrow.
That's to cut the long story short. So my point is, I am kinda in trouble. My grocery bill this week was so expensive it's not even funny! Did I also mention that I made spinach quiche and two more batches of carrot cake the week before?
Labels: The domestic goddess at work
So going down.
Tomorrow my sister and I are participating in the Great Eastern Run and I tell you, I am SO going to die. Haven't really been running. In fact, I've been doing the exact opposite of this supposed exercise regime by doing a hell lot of cooking and baking. Albeit only 5 km, I still don't know what possessed me to sign up for it. It has got to be that irrational trait acting up. The same trait that brought me up the Pinnacles in Mulu and nearly got me killed last December.
Did up a big batch of tuna pasta salad for lunch today :D
Anyway, next Saturday I will be going back to Jakarta for 5 days to settle some stuff. I am rather apprehensive yet excited about going back after about 8 years of absence. Heard that it has gone through some eye-opening changes and I can't wait to see it for myself. Yet it is strange how the city of my own birth can feel so foreign and uninviting. Me thinks that I might feel more at ease if plonked in Chiangmai.
Oh wells... FOOD! :D
Did I tell you that my dear boyfriend just bought a Canon DSLR? Complete with some spiffy lens and other trinkets. I think some of the dust of his photography fervour fell on my head and albeit on a much smaller scale *cough* economically *cough*, I am now contemplating if I should bid for this Holga 120 CFN.
5 more hours before bidding ends!!
Missing the days of midweek chill
I just made banana cake again. Yes go ahead, roll eyes. haha. Oh woe is to me, who can't stop being anal to save my life. This time I substituted the margarine with butter, and changed the brown sugar back to white sugar just to see how different it would taste like. Also, because the family of eggs currently sitting in my fridge are so very tiny, I actially pondered in front of my baking bowl for a good few minutes. Another egg? Or not? In the end I plonked the extra bugger right in.
Anyway! It baked beautifully :) I really wish I could take some pictures but the lighting in my house is simply hopeless.
Here is the original recipe (click).
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
You can change the shortening to butter or margarine, reduce the sugar from 3/4 to 1/2 cup, substitute half of the flour with wholemeal (you can thank me when you are 40 and trying to diet, for that extra kilo you saved). 1 cup = roughly 2 and half bananas (but please go ahead and plonk in that extra half because leaving half a banana lying around is ridiculous). Also, I baked mine for only 40 min.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the banana and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
And oh, an extra egg won't hurt too! :)
Did you know that Halloween is coming?! A crazy idea stopped by me today, since I am all into this fruit & vege theme nowadays. You know, making a pumpkin cake (even though I've never eaten one in my entire life) and heck, why not a Jack O Lantern too just for the fun of it! :D
I popped by NTUC today and saw humongous, perfectly orange, flawless pumpkins on sale. But MAN, you won't believe how exorbitant those things are. I picked up a soccer ball-sized one and balked when I saw the $74 price tag. Anyway, I got half of a tiny pumpkin (those Halloween unworthy ones) and I can't wait to make a cake out of it!
Labels: The domestic goddess at work
I guess it's the journey, not the destination.
Today, R and I are 4 years old. FOUR! YEARS! OLD! Wow, how did we do that?
Admittedly, there had been many difficult times. There were some sad moments, frustrating moments when I had to fight the urge to throw stockings around his neck and haul him out of the window, and moments when I just want to curl up somewhere and pretend all this LDR thing isn't actually happening.
But on top of that, there were the blissful moments, the crazy moments when we walked around half of Tasmania breaking our legs, balancing on rocks and taking pictures of wallabies, and quiet moments of contentment knowing that noone else knows and loves me the best. Moments which make me believe that there would be many more to come.
Two days ago, I striked one item off my mental "Things to do before 25" list.
Damn right it was painful!
And it goes right up there on my list of life's weirdest experiences. Running close second is riding on a stranger's motorbike while hugging a big jackfruit in plain sight of a village of hill tribes.
Labels: mumble jumbles
mood at work
In the typical Felicia fashion of sporadic spurts of short-lived inspirational moments, I recently had a baking fever. It was during those last few hours of work last Friday that I suddenly had this totally irrational, inexplicable urge to bake. Something. Anything.
So on the way home, I plopped by NTUC and bought stuff. And when I say stuff, I really mean the works. I lugged back a mixer (yes, a previously unowned mixer - a testament of how random this really is), a loaf tin, a kg of this and that; which consists of an assortment of flour (all purpose, wholemeal), brown sugar, walnuts, and when I finally succeeded lugging everything back home, I tell you, I had sore arms.
After pottering in the kitchen for a while, here is the fruit of my labour, my pride and joy..
Oatmeal banana bread :) It was so yummy and oh-so-healthy, the flabs on my tummy were thanking me profusely, I kid you not.
The next day I baked it again to perfect it, and then I ventured into baking carrot cake. Seriously, this baking frenzy is making me feel so useful and productive and so Martha Stewart material! Which err.. is a good thing right? I have since tweaked the carrot cake recipe a little and baked it a second time. Shall make it again this weekend to perfect it more, and then maybe I will post the photo :D
Lets see how long this new hobby will last.
Labels: The domestic goddess at work
Joy to the world! Tomorrow is Ffffriday! :) I don't know why I am so jaded and unmotivated lately. Maybe I am finding excuses again, but I suspect that it being the time of the month is partly to blame. I'm feeling lethargic, bloated, like i have an entire family of whales swimming around in my stomach, and honestly I just want to curl up in bed watching Grey's Anatomy (Season 5 is out! woot!) or listening to Radiohead until I fade into merciful oblivion. Please, would you just wake me up when it's 2009.
A while back, i striked off another book on my to-read list, thanks to suz for lending. To simplify things, this book is a biography about a woman in her thirties who basically messed up her life (divorce, depression), and then went off travelling for a year to Italy, India and Indonesia to find back herself.
I was attracted to this book solely because of the travelling bit. I was curious to know what kind of self-discovery thingymagy this woman claimed to have experienced, and how the whole thing worked. But halfway into it, I was thinking, boy, this woman really has lots of issues. I mean no offense, everyone has his/her own set of problem and as long as you are responsible for your own emotions, there is nothing wrong about it. But reading this woman's life just reminded me about everything I don't want to be, yet looks almost set to become. She is so incredibly self-absorbed to me. Yet sometimes I get really sick and tired of myself too for being like that. And to be really honest, I occasionally look into my head and it always dawned upon me that I could possibly be a prime candidate for depression and manic disorder. I am too much of a control freak perhaps. And maybe Rudy is right that I suffer from reverse hallucination. I can't see the good stuff that is in front of me. In every bunch of perfect-looking flowers I always manage to spot the worms. It eats me up that I struggle so much to change.
But well, like what Ed used to say, if admitting your problem is the first step of recovery then I pray to God that I am on my way already.
What shall I do this weekend? I think I shall bake some cupcakes :)