Monday, December 28, 2015

Neil Gaiman's M is for Magic

I enjoy reading this book. I like the short stories for their quirkiness, simplicity, the interesting characters. I read this over the past few weeks, picking it up on bus and train rides. I teared a bit while reading "Troll bridge" about a man who decided to switch place with a troll and "The Price" about a brave cat protecting his human family. I can't wait to read more about Bod in Neil Gaiman's other book, The Graveyard Book.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

First visit to Great Wall of China

During a recent work trip to Beijing in early December, we did a short walk at part of Great Wall of China. My face, hands and feet were freezing cold when it was windy, even though I was wearing a thick beanie, down jacket, thermal layer, socks and gloves. I felt like an old lady as I slowly climbed up and down the flights of steps at the less challenging stretch of the Great Wall. It was a nice experience to share with my other 3 colleagues being my first time there. I'm not sure when I will next visit it again.

Angel the only cat at home

Angel seems quite relaxed and happy without Bob and Cinnamon around, as he could move freely around the house, rest and sleep anywhere he wants.

Bob and Cinnamon at Kittycare Haven

Bob and Cinnamon have been at Kittycare Haven at Lim Chu Kang for 2 months. Sia Ping and Binti keep their room clean and the 2 cats are eating well. Sis and I have been driving down every Sunday to spend at least an hour with them. I will bring along wet tissues to clean them and also comb their fur. Bob will happily let me hug him, while Cinnamon will purr noisily as I comb her fur. Hopefully by early February next year, Bob can return home while Cinnamon will join Angel at Sis' new home.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Hearty kale potato carrot pork soup

I love soups that are full of fresh ingredients. A reason why I like having my meals at Real Food and Soup Spoon. I tried cooking a soup for the family using whatever we had in the fridge, and it took more than an hour for the soft bone pork meat to soften. It was very satisfying to see everyone enjoy the soup with rice and other dishes during the dinner :)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I miss Bob

I was looking at these photos of Bob this morning. It has been 2 weeks since I boarded him and Cinnamon at Kittycare Haven at Lim Chu Kang. We have visited them last weekend and will do so tomorrow and every weekend. Angel who is low maintenance stays home. Mom had to go for hysterectomy and be hospitalised. Dad quit his taxi driver job so that he could take care of mom, do housework and cooking. Our worst fears come true when the doctors recommend that mom go for chemotherapy. This also means Bob and Cinnamon have to be away from home for a longer duration until mom is well. I miss Bob sleeping with me, head butting, enjoying my hugs and kisses.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Chinese Spinach phase

A few weeks ago, I was in love with Chinese Spinach and cooked it a few times for my meals. However it could not be a daily affair as preparing the vegetable for cooking is quite tedious. I need to peel the outer thin "membrane" of the stems so that they will be softer after cooking. Some of the leaves may have tiny white spots (aphids?) so I have to be alert and removed these leaves. I must really crave for Chinese spinach (hoi cai in Teochew) and in the mood to cook it.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Angel our big boy

Angel looked like he had made a mess with the paper balls and went into hiding :) He likes Mom to throw paper balls at him, before she heads out to feed the community cats in the morning, and he will run after them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Curiosity and comfort

Bob likes to explore new places around the house, sniff them and make himself comfortable.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Angel and loud noises

Angel is scared of thunder, so it is not surprising that he was also affected by the loud noises coming from the singing and music by the band playing at the park in front of the block of flats next to ours last night at 7.30pm. The RC organised the event for the residents to celebrate Mooncake Festival. Poor Angel just rested on his side and stared listlessly while waiting for the celebration to end. I played with him and Cinnamon separately with a toy to try cheering him up. I had to coax him back into Sis' room with his favorite catnip around 9.30pm, so that he can stay in the room and we can let Bob out for a while. Luckily by then, it was announcement of the lucky draw winners, which was not so loud.

Bob's grooming session

Mom and I are always amused by his sitting poses and sometimes he will just lazily rest on his side after grooming himself.

Craving for chocolate avocado cake

Even after a late lunch, I couldn't stop thinking about the ripe avocado waiting for me to transform it into something yummy. I love the chocolate avocado cake I made the past few times, so I measured all the ingredients and toned my arms by mashing the avocado. I waited till after a light dinner and feeding the community cats to try the cake. Eating 2 small slices made me feel satisfied and happy :)

Roasting potatoes and cauliflower

After successfully roasting yummy sweet potatoes, I decided to do the same for potatoes and cauliflower too. They ended up as late lunch for me and Sis. I had to cut, marinate and wash the dishes but I think it is worth the effort to prepare healthy tasty food.

A visitor at the park

This handsome ginger cat will visit the park occasionally and he doesn't disturb Shadow and the other roaming pet cats. He is more interested in chasing after the birds. Recently he displayed some interest in our food when we ordered him some after greeting him and stroking him. We are not sure if the aunty feeder whom we avoid due to some differences feeds him and the other female sterilised cat enough food. Anyway, when my path crosses with these 2 cats, I will do my usual hello with my hand to their nose, and stroking their head, neck etc and feeding them some kibbles.

Surprises from friends

They came in the form of a friend dropping by my workstation with tea and postcards from a friend who was in Yunnan :)

Eating healthy meals

I haven't been exercising lately, so I will try to eat more healthily by making overnight oats for breakfast and going for healthy meals at places like Real Food for lunch or dinner.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Adventures with Chinese Spinach

Mom used to cook Chinese spinach for dinners some years back. When I was young, I would equate spinach with Popeye the sailor man and that I would be strong like him after eating it too :) Earlier this week, mom had bought a big bunch of Chinese Spinach thinking that she could cook it for our dinner. It didn't happen as Mom had no mood to cook dinner and Dad bought dinner home for her and himself while I settled mine after work. When I cook a simple meal for myself, I have be in a good mood and look forward to eating what I am preparing. If Mom doesn't have appetite eating what she cook, there is no point for her to prepare and cook for us in the first place. Dad has always been an understanding partner and doesn't want to see Mom miserable. I would have dinner at Caveman Food or Real Food at Novena Square 2 before heading home. If I have time and mood, I can prepare a simple meal at home. Not wanting to let the Chinese Spinach go to waste, I attempted to stir fry it with minced pork and egg omelette on Friday night. Yesterday, I cooked it with sliced fish and dill leaves and some spinach leaves and fish were overcooked as I should have cooked the stems first before throwing in the rest. Both spinach dishes were edible with the first attempt more tasty. Mom taught me to peel the outer layer of the spinach stems so that it won't be too tough when cooked. I was surprisingly patient as I did the peeling the 2 nights. Maybe cooking my own meals has become a form of therapy :)

Mom's Saturday teabreak

Mom usually will have her tea-coffee beverage and some snacks between 1 to 2pm. Yesterday, I toasted a portobello mushroom for her and she ate that with a piece of steamed sweet potato and strawberry. Healthy and yummy!

Weekend with sweet potatoes

I wanted to finish up the remaining 2 sweet potatoes I got from Cold Storage last weekend. I steamed part of them and placed some diced pieces to cook together with Japanese rice. The porridge turned out colourful with some spring onions but its nice taste came from miso and natto not the sweet potato. Sweet potato is great simply steamed or toasted after coated with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Sweet potato fries

I love sweet potatoes. At home, mom will steam them. I have been eating the baked ones from Caveman Food, a paleo diet food stall and also more tasty wedges from Real Food at Square 2, Novena. When I saw huge sweet potatoes at Cold Storage, I got them and tried baking fries using a simple recipe. The cutting was a bit tedious, as I needed a chopper and mom's kung-fu to chop the potatoes into half before I used a knife to slice into smaller piece. I was happily eating the freshly baked fries that day and toasted leftovers the next 2 days :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Relaxed moments at home

Of late, weekends seem too short for me to recharge. I want to squeeze in as many activities as possible. Cleaning up my room, catching up with reading the past week's worth of Straits Times newspapers (yikes, old news already!), going for acupuncture for my aches, etc. The cats do remind me to slow down a bit, as I couldn't ignore their cuteness or giving them some TLC.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

End of SG50 weekend

Yesterday felt like a normal day, after all the celebrations. I made some maple oat chocolate chip cookies which flattened out and some got stuck together during baking. I didn't follow the recipe's instruction to space them 2 inches apart. luckily, they still taste great :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

National Day SG50

I was at home most of the time yesterday, but experienced the happy mood of friends on social media and also seeing happy faces of fellow Singaporeans at National Day parade on the TV. I hope Singapore will continue to be a peaceful country and people live, play and work together harmoniously.

Day 2 of SG50 weekend

Last Saturday, the highlight was catching up with a good friend (an ex-colleague) at her place in the late afternoon. I kind of miss having her around in the office, even though it has been more than a year. We have been catching up through weekday lunches and the few times I took leave in the afternoon to hang out with her. We know about each other family, interests, attitude towards work, so I cherish her friendship and I am glad that both of us make the effort to keep in touch :)

Friday, August 07, 2015

Day 1 of SG50 weekend: playing with food

I finish the remaining broccoli by mixing it with some peanut butter and using the water that cooked the broccoli to make a simple miso soup. That was part 2 of lunch. I am happy that the Magimix Mini Plus food processor is a good buy as I have used it to make hummus, guacamole and today energy bites. The recipe calls for dried prunes, dates, almonds, cashew nuts, cocoa powder and matcha. I substituted almond milk with soya milk and added some maple syrup to make the mixture a bit easier to roll into balls. Finally I coated them with soya milk powder so that they won't get stuck together when I store them into the container. They taste not too sweet, and healthy and yummy 😋

Day 1 of SG50 weekend: cat watching

I am never tired of watching their expressions, reactions, as they are simply adorable.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Colourful dishes

I tried making vegetable stock on Sunday, but I didn't let it simmer more than 30mins, so the veggies weren't tender.  I also find broccoli to be quite strong smelling, and will use it for stir frying. With the stock and cooker veggies, I was able to churn out my lunch (kimchi salad and miso soup) and dinner (vegetable soup to go with the not so nice roast chicken drumstick from the nearby coffeeshop). Love the colours and knowing that I was eating healthy stuff :)