Friday, July 30, 2010

Dinner from the Toaster!


It's been a while since our last post. I've been into a lot of cooking lately. Usually I do mainly chicken recipes or pastas, they're quick and easy to make, for the working women like me. And you have to agree with me, washing up is a real chore! You spend about 30mins cooking up a storm, just to make dinner for two of which my wonderful husband takes about 15 mins to wolf it down, and then on to the sink. We really need to consider a dish washer. We're just too lazy!

So the other day we decided to eat out and I picked up this Japanese magazine while waiting for our table. There was a page which went something like "baked fish from a toaster", or along those lines. I have to admit, my culinery narrow mindedness cannot fathom how fish can be baked from a toaster. Sure, fry or grill it on a pan, steam it, whatever, but toaster?! That's for bread and the occasional frozen fries!

Anyhow, I tried it, and it was SO easy! Pretty much fail proof too. So I decided I wanted to share it with the world. What would we do without the Japanese? ;)
Aluminium Foil
1 Cod fillet (Salmon or Sea Bream)
1 tbsp Butter (I used olive oil instead)
1 tbsp Sake (or white wine)
1 slice lemon/1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
8 slices of carrot
1/2 green pepper de-seeded and finely sliced (I used minced garlic instead)
1/2 onion finely sliced
1/2 pkt enoki mushrooms (or any kind of mushrooms u prefer)

1. Take some of the butter and butter the centre of the aluminium foil lightly where the cod will be placed.
2. put the cod on the foil and season with salt and pepper.
3. place the sliced carrots, mushrooms, and green pepper evenly over the cod.
4. sprinkle the lemon juice and sake. (I couldn't find sake so I just used soya sauce and minced ginger with some ginger juice)
5. place the rest of the butter over all the ingredients on the cod.
6. Fold the foil in half and wrap the ingredients
7. Seal the corners so the liquid does not seep out while baking.
8. place sealed foil into the toaster and bake for 25-30 mins.

ET VOILA!!! (Serves 1)

Serve with white rice or noodles, or anything else you fancy. You can even just eat it on it's own.

Do try this at home!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

And the Oscar Nominees Are...

It's about 5am Singapore time, and I'm standing in my bedroom, watching my husband drenched under the shower with his watch, underpants, and shorts with belt still on. Obviously wasted -the result of a very dramatic night that I sadistically thoroughly enjoyed. Let's rewind a little.

It's Yihmay's birthday today and Jimme, her boyfriend, had decided he wanted to plan a very nice surprise for her on this special day. He had bought a nice huge tent and was planning to do a camp out with just her for the night. But he also decided that the day should be spent with some of her friends, and so he invited a bunch of us over to east coast for some dinner and obviously to cut the birthday cake. Everything was nice and dandy, till we decided to join in this other party that was concurrently held by another group of people which they also knew.

The first up in running for a shot at the Oscars was this girl at the party, who made a huge scene because, get this, her boyfriend went to have a bite with another bloke without her. She made such a racket you'd think at first that he had cheated on her or something, but no. He was just hungry and decided to eat, but forgot to ask if her Highness wanted to come along too. Okay, at this point, I need to clarify and justify this. She ain't Singaporean. Her night ended real awkward. Boyfriend tries to talk to her, she doesn't want to listen and continues to scream, boyfriend starts to leave without her, she runs towards him with a drink and attempts to throw the remains of the contents of her cup at him, boyfriend ducks and walks off into the night, she's stranded alone at the party and no one wants to talk to a psycho. I think they're more afraid that she might go crazy and pour her drinks or chips, or whatever she can get her hands on in their face. It was just a pity that no one brought pop corn.

So the evening progresses, both Jimme and Julien had both had two bottles of wine by themselves each and were starting to get pretty wasted already. Yihmay, who's starting to get really tired at this point, tells Jimme that maybe they should retire for the night. Fair enough since she just spent the past couple of hours at a party with people who don't really care if it's her birthday or not, when she could have had some quality time with just Jimme. Jimme agrees and staggers off into the direction of their tent. Some others start to leave too. But Julien and a couple others decide they haven't got wasted enough and disappear to buy more booze. They finish their booze and start to get bored. So Julien decides, why not walk over to Jimme & Yihmay's tent and find out what they're doing?

We reach their tent and thankfully they're just talking still. They boys invite Jimme for another drink of which he can't refuse, and so the boys end up talking by the beach while yihmay and I sit and chat in the tent. Next finalist for the Oscar goes to....

Julien pops his head in, all soaked and dripping with stinky sea water, asking me to hold on to his wallet and iPhone. Which also happen to be soaked through. So obviously his iPhone is now dead. What happened? They were peeing in the sea, when Julien thought it'll be real funny to push Jimme in, which he did. Obviously Jimme takes revenge and they both end up soaked. The other two guys were sober enough to get out of the way, and just sit on the beach watching them two wrestle one another in the sea, and kill all their high tech gadgets with sea water. This continues in this manner, as Yihmay's getting angrier and angrier by the minute.

At some point in the night, or wee hours in the morning by this time, them two blokes decide that they should try to dry off their clothes and look for a shower to rinse off the sea water. So they scoot off in only their underpants. Unfortunately, they could not find any, and Julien ends up wearing one of Yihmay's T-shirts, which also happens to be her birthday present (I've got pictures!!!). Classy.

The night ends with two very drunk blokes soaked to their socks, Julien telling Jimme how he doesn't mind that his iphone's now dead (I'd like to see him say that again in a couple of hours when he wakes up), and a very unhappy birthday girl. I would be too if I were wanting a quiet night out at the beach with my boyfriend only to have it crashed by 4 other people.

I've heard many times how Asians are deemed to not be open minded enough to accept certain things, but I'm not sure if in this situation, it is a question of how open minded one can be. I guess this will probably go down in my books as one legen... wait for it... dary night. Probably not as well as what the birthday girl was expecting, but still legendary none the less.

I'm sure we'll all laugh over this one day, but for now, I'm not so sure Jimme's going to get much proper sleep tonight in his tent not showered still while yihmay's probably grinding her teeth, trying very hard to hold back biting his head off. Julien on the other hand's already snoring his head off in bed, most likely oblivious that yihmay's night with jimme's ruined, but none the less happy to have got wasted.

All in the day of our lives.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The almost extra night in Paris

As promised here is the tale of, let's call them Chikita and Chikito.

Once upon a time, in a land far far away (from Singapore) where smoking is a national sport, and drinking wine almost compulsory there was Chikita and Chikito visiting some family and friends for a couple of weeks.
Chikita and Chikito enjoyed themselves very much during their stay. First in the Castle of a town called Asnières, then in a mill in a town called Troyes, and finally in a huge mansion (bigger than the castle) in a town called Tours. They were surrounded by loved ones almost at all times, and were very pleased to share all this time in this land far far away. Listening to stories, and recounting some back. Enjoying delightful food that they sometimes cooked for their friends (Chikita is an excellent cook), and even swimming in the blue lagoon by the mansion mentioned above. The detail of their trip will likely be the occasion of an other tale with pictures and all.

When the time was come to leave this land far far away, Chikita and Chikito went to the harbour of the giant birds. Yes this land was so far away that they had to fly on a giant bird's back to pass above the mountains and seas.
They were heavily loaded with souvenirs and gifts and dirty washing as they approached the harbour's telling machine to withdraw a magic pass to the bird's back. But the machine gave an ugly look and told them they might not able to board the bird leaving that night as too many people were already travelling on it. However, the benefits they would get in terms of other flights and food and accommodation if they couldn't board that night seemed to satisfy Chikita. She almost wished the bird would be too full and they wouldn't leave that night.

A little blonde fairy in a blue dress took care of them and was ready to give satisfaction to Chikita by letting them take the next day's bird. However, the fairy was called to help people get on an other bird leaving that same night, and Chikita and Chikito were handed to her apprentice fairy colleague who did not understand the instructions.
With a broad smile she handed the magic passes to Chikita and Chikito (without even checking their identity, which is quite amusing when you see how careful they are now in harbours of giant birds with security) and told them they could take the bird leaving that same night.
Chikita's dream of a nice free meal, and more free bird flights was flushed down the drain, but inside she was happy to get home to see their pet tigers.
Chikito on his part was relieved as he had to attend torture the day after the bird arrived, and his torturer would not have been pleased if he had been late by one full day.
The flight was a very quiet one and after a bad sleep on the bird's uncomfortable back they reached destination: the land far far away (from France) where walking slowly is a national sport and eating rice is compulsory.

The unexpected post

Why unexpected?
I was thinking of writing about our almost extra night in Paris because of Air France's policy of overbooking their flights. But then something turned up and I though maybe I should lie in electronic ink some other thoughts. If I'm bragging along no one is obliging you to read.

What's on my mind, as Facebook would say: fights, wars, battles, arguments, different point of views etc.
I seem to never be able to stay mad at someone for very long. At first I'm like "I'll never forgive whoever for whatever, and I WILL stick to my anger". Then I realise that it's not bringing much to the debate, and most of all it's not making me happier to be mad. Not to mention the other party, who is either completely oblivious, making my resentment useless, or depressed, making my grudge cruel.
I sincerely don't remember anyone I'm still angry at today for what ever situation. I don't even remember being mad at anyone for more than a day (but most likely never more than a few hours).
Maybe when reading this you think I'm soft, or too nice... Maybe.
The best of all this, is that I'm happier than if I were mad. Having negative thoughts, nursing an old story, penning it down to make sure it's never forgotten... Nah, not for me.
When a friend tells me he (usually she) is so angry at someone, I always feel the reason is trivial and not worth keeping in mind. Peace, but mostly love, are a lot more important.
Now, don't get me wrong, there are unforgivable things. And I have never spoken to someone again for some action but my anger or annoyance subsidised some weeks before the bridge was blown up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reminder to Self

Things always have a way of working themselves out no matter how random they may seem.

Food Cravings

Funny how I tend to have certain food cravings at the craziest moments. I'm right now in Tours, with the sun shining yet it's not too hot, we've been swimming in the pool whole of yesterday, got a really good new layer of tan, meat on the barbecue... life is perfect and tranquil. And a thought pops in my head, "Wonder where I can find some good ramen in France, and really spicy chilli padi?". I sit up at times like this because I do surprise myself. It's just, well, odd. I mean, the combination is odd in itself already. Ramen with chilli padi? I would never have that on any other normal day, but oddly enough, this sounds temptingly mouth watering to me right now. And the same happens to me when I'm back in Singapore. Sometimes, when it's all rainy and cold (it can get a little fresh although that's rare), I think "some raclette right now would be good".

Maybe I'm the only person who thinks this way. It's just really amusing how my brain works sometimes...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Nice Side of French Motorists

Something I saw that really opened up the way I thought about French motorists, in Paris particularly. Of course this could happen often but from a Singaporean's point of view it only happened once in the four other trips I've been in Parisian traffic.

Traffic was heavy as usual, and a biker in front of our mini scooter had pulled on his breaks while turning. This obviously caused his bike to go out of control and he skidded to the side, just right in front of us. We were a little surprised at first and were frozen for a while; our minds had gone blank. Then almost simultaneously, without speaking, I got ready to get off the scooter while Julien tilted it to the side so I could slide off it. Yes, he has to tilt the scooter because my short asian legs cannot reach the gravel otherwise. We were going to help him up.

Before my foot even touched the ground, there were already three other motorists who had ran out from no where (like in Indian movies) to the scene, helping to lift up the bike and pull the very embarrassed man up from the ground. Ca va? Ca va? They kept asking him if he was okay. "Ca va, ca va, ca va", was all he could reply. Then, as though this all happened in a dream, the green light came on, and the three men disappeared into the traffic, while the motorists who had fell earlier rode off into the dust.

This nice-ness lasted about, oh, 10 seconds before the war between car drivers and motorists resumed as they attemptted to cut through each other's lane at the turn about, and hurl traffic "greetings" to each other over the already defeaning noise of about 10,000 engines running at the same time, which of course I will not translate here. =)