Archive for the 'Salads' Category

Sometimes you just need a pie

Tuesday lunch bento was ’empty your fridge’ salad made out of leftovers in the fridge.

Included tofu, crabsticks, bamboo shoots and teriyaki fish with sesame, lime and fish sauce dressing. Quite good eaten straightaway but not great for the day after.

I always try to prepare Jo’s lunch bento on Wednesdays because she has to go to work straight after.

Her lunch bento was stir-fried five spice honey chicken and mixed vegetables with rice.

Luckily I didn’t have to do the ‘A week of my life’ meme this week. Because the weather had been horrible of late, rainy, gloomy, dark and wet. I shiver when I go out and I shiver when I go home. I don’t know why I used to say I like winter, winter is horrible!

It doesn’t help that I’ve been leaving the office later and later. Usually I am the only one left with all the big bosses around. Sometimes I think to myself ‘what the hell am I doing here? I’m just a minion!’  I think I haven’t seen the sun all week (T____T).

Today it was another late workday. By the time I got out of the building it was pitch dark and drizzling. Two blocks before I reached my bus stop, I saw my bus rolling down the terrace. To run or not to run? I ended up running after the bus in the rain while trying to keep my shoes from falling off (for some reason they’re so loose lately). I collapsed on the bus seat, panting and thinking ‘there’s got to be a better life than this’ (ya, can swim 100 laps but can’t sprint two blocks, I’m so unfit).

While walking home from the bus stop, I wondered what to cook for dinner. The supermarket and veg shop was closed, any meat in the freezer would be rock hard. Then Jo called my mobile ‘where are you?’ ‘Err walking home on the road’ ‘Oh I’m at the lights waiting for you, scared you walk home in the dark alone’ ‘But doesn’t it defeat the purpose when you’re there alone?! Dangerous for you also what!’ ‘No, I’m at the lights, lots of cars!’ *slap forehead* Sigh, still it was very sweet of her but please hor Jo, wait for me at home!

So I decided to reward both of us for walking in the rain and said ‘Let’s buy takeaway for dinner’. We were deciding between kebabs and Subway. Guess what we had in the end? Jesters pie!

Jo’s Footy pie which is chunks of lean beef with bacon and mushrooms topped with tasty cheese. Looked very nice and oozy.

Mine was a special and not on their normal menu! It’s a Peri Peri pie which had chicken chunks, potato and carrots in a slightly spicy peri-peri sauce. Not bad but then I don’t really like potatoes in pie. Still, the puff pastry was very yummy and it was fun having a pie for a change.

Btw, I’ve added a new ‘sometimes you just need a’ category in my list, it’s for those posts where I succumb to temptation and just think ‘what the heck, sometimes you just need a …’ so far I’ve had curry, sushi and pie (^__^). Once I’ve decided on the ratings system I will put it up on my About page.

Haha, I just had a chat with my mum, we were gossing about the latest tvb dramas and she said  ‘Eh, that drama is REALLY HORRIBLE!!’ Then she said ‘You must watch it!’ I started laughing and said ‘ how come you say it’s really horible then you ask me to watch it?!’ She said ‘because you must watch it to see how horrible it is mah!’ My mum very cute hor Y(^___^)Y.

A Week of My Life : Day 2 Tuesday

I was just thinking ‘my life is so boring I have nothing to blog about’ when I realised I have almost 20 pictures for today! Imagine how many pictures I would be taking if my life was actually interesting.

I was running a little late for work today, hit the snooze button and ended up sleeping for 20 minutes instead of the extra 5 minutes. Luckily I still made it on my usual bus. St Georges Terrace has a new shopping arcade with a Woolworths supermarket. I’m guessing the supermarket will be very handy for workers if the government finally extends weekday trading hours to 9pm, the issue is being debated in parliament now, 7pm, or 8pm or 9pm? What’s the difference?! Just extend!

Side view of Bank West tower. Many years ago when my friend Ah Kiong was still in Perth, someone asked him ‘if you were gang raped by a group of men, what would you do?’ His answer ‘Go to Bank West loh‘. ‘Go to Bank West for what? Withdraw money?’ ‘No. Jump off from the top’. For some reason that morbid conversation has stuck in my head forever and I can’t look at Bank West tower without thinking of Kiong.

Permanent fixtures at my desk.  My trusty lavender smelling hand cream. The pink eared crystal elephant which was the souvenir from Thailand from my colleague. And I brought more apples in to replenish my never ending supply!

Lunch was seafood tofu slices, crabstick, egg tofu slices with lettuce. I like tofu a lot.

Recently B, my colleague (the same one that left me the box of chocolates at my desk) moved to the cubicle next to mine. We can’t see each other coz the walls are pretty high. Today I was typing on my computer when a paper boat landed on my desk, chucked over from B’s cubicle. B sent me an email with the title ‘Whoops’. So I returned the favour by folding a paper crane and throwing it over to her cubicle. She was very impressed and said ‘you are so competitive!’ Hahaha.

And it’s the end of a day’s work again. Every time I see the Gloria Jeans signboard I think of Jo. Sometimes she meets me at the neighbourhood supermarket and will always say ‘mmm… should I get a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate? I love the ice chocolate.. I think I will’, but she never ends up buying it. It is pure coincidence that she actually had a Gloria Jeans ice chocolate today and blogged about it in her day 2 post.

Today I bypassed the fruit and veg shop and walked into Woolies instead. Then walked out 30 seconds later when I saw the check out lines.

I like the colors of the evening sky. The sun was going down as I walked home.

Why are Jo and I wearing thongs in winter? Coz we’re going swimming!

The entrance of the Aqualife Centre, a.k.a. our swimming venue. Our Perth Stampark.

Hehe, photo of Jo taking a photo of the centre.

100 laps later, Jo and I were whispering to each other ‘Eh, can take photos or not?’ while stealing glances at the nearby lifeguards. I whipped out my digicam and took this quick snapshot of our nice heated swimming pool. Every time I go swimming, I tell myself that someday, I have to blog about swimming etiquette. Seriously, walking lanes are for walking, not canoodling or making out *vomit* with your boyfriend. Slow lanes are for slow lapping, not walking! And only go to the fast lane if you actually swim fast! Grrr..

Everytime we pass by this swimsuit stand I think of Jan. 40% off leh, do you want us to help you get one Jan?

Dinner was easy stir fried chicken with onions, stir-fried cabbage and rice.

Jo is working tomorrow so I prepared her lunch bento in this two tiered bento box.

Pretty much the same stuff as dinner with added sausage omelet with coriander.

It’s Adrian’s birthday today. We were going to go over to his place to pass him his presents and perhaps blow some candles. But for some reason or other, it didn’t really work out. Nevertheless, happy birthday Adrian! I hope next year it will be a better one, and hopefully, we can re-celebrate again for you later in the week.

So that ends Day 2, hopefully I can find more interesting things to blog about tomorrow, but my life IS boring!

Sometimes you just need Sushi

Lunch bento yesterday was grilled ponzu fish salad. It was the last piece of basa fillet from my fridge (much to Jo’s delight I’m sure).

I marinated the fillet with ponzu sauce (citrus flavoured soy sauce) and a bit of mirin and served it on bed of shredded cabbage and apple strips.

Even though Jo said the fish was tasty, I could sense a faltering enthusiasm for our grilled fish repertoire, so I tried to ‘hide’ her fish with a sunny side up, not sure whether they went well together though. I figured since Jo’s favourite empek empek is fish cake with egg filling, this was an ’empek empek’ of some sort.

I am exhausted!!  I called Jo on the way home and said ‘Eh, I’m too tired to cook, let’s get some takeaway today’. I thought she would jump at the chance of eating her favourite fast food like McD’s etc. but to my surprise, she opted for Kabuki (the takeaway sushi place near my house) instead. What can I say? Sometimes you just need sushi for the tired soul.

Lunch bento tomorrow is chicken, avocado and mandarin orange salad.

I know I mentioned in the last post that I really like Thai food, but really, I am partial towards  Japanese cuisine , which also explains my penchant for cooking Japanese food. The other day I was watching Anthony Bourdain on Youtube and he asked all the chefs something along the lines of ‘what would be your last meal if it was your last day on Earth?’ I asked Jo the same question and she said ‘Japanese food! or … maybe Mum’s cooking’. My answer would probably be the same.

But I think Jo and I were cheating with our ‘Mum’s cooking’ answer, because my Ah Ma is a fantastic cook, and she can bake bread (so good straight out of the oven),  make dimsum (my dad likes her xiao long bao while I love her char siew bao) and whip up yummy dishes of all nationalities ranging from sambal prawns, fish and chips to authentic Nyonya cuisine.If only I could cook like my mum.

Cry me a river

So I committed the ultimate no-no at work today. I cried. Sigh. Yes, I cried at work today. Ok, so it wasn’t a sob fest or bawling my eyes out hullaballoo, more like shiny eyes tears threatening to overspill situation. BUT , I was  still highly embarrassed, as in, kill me now, I may as well just quit now embarrassed.

Just one colleague saw me teary eyed, and I’m glad it was him. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have cried if he didn’t ask me ever so gently whether I was ok. You know how when you’re on the verge on tears and  trying to keep your emotions in check while muttering ‘zen zen zen’ under your breath (or is that just me?)? Just when you’re calming down, some Samaritan will come and give you a hug or say in the kindest tone ‘are you alright?’ and BOOM, tears overflow situation.

That was me today. (T__________T)

Friends who know me know that I’m a crybaby, I cry at all sad movies, I even cry at happy movies with one tiny sad scene (which for some reason other people don’t find sad, heartless creatures). But my rule is, I never ever cry at work. To me, that’s a sign of weakness and unprofessional, but I don’t know what happened today, maybe I’ve been bottling in up, I thought I was cruising and battling those engulfing waves, but apparently I was not.

It was one wave after another but at least it was from people I expected crap from. Then suddenly, a newcomer came on the scene and her words just incited me, I think it was more tears of shock than anger. And at the end of it, I was just so angry with myself for being so unprofessional, for letting it get to me. To my defence, I did walk away from the conversation (or should I say hammering) still civil and polite. It was only back at my desk that my facade crumbled. And A sensed it all, and he came along with kind words, and was rewarded with teary eyes, poor A! I think he was speechless.

At the end of the day, my manager and other colleagues were incensed on my behalf which was touching. But A was the champion, he brought me out for coffee, to a special coffee place in fact and gave me a pep talk and lots of encouragement. I think when I see him tomorrow I will be shy, very very very shy.

I’m not out of the woods yet. I sense that the next few days will be very tense and am already prepared for the storms to come. But I also know that I have the support of my good worksmates like A, and that means a lot.

No more tears. This is the last time that I’m allowed weakness at work, I have more grit than that!

Perhaps my emotions were poured into my cooking today. This spicy, sweet and sour pineapple chicken was really quite spicy.

Mixed together with savoy cabbage strips and sweet corn kernels, it’s my lunch bento tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s already Friday tomorrow, I’ve been dodging balls from all corners that time just flew past. If anything, I think I’m stronger today and will be even better tomorrow.

All in a Day’s Work

Home cooking for the past week.

Jo’s reaction to this dish was ‘wah, how come today get instant noodles?!’ After so much home cooked food, it’s actually a treat to eat yummy instant noodles, especially our favourite Indo Mee. I topped the noodles with grilled basa fillets marinated in a mixture of white miso paste, sugar and mirin. Lunch the next day was thinly shredded raw cabbage with the fillets, very nice even eaten cold.

I’m very proud of this recipe! I wish I could post up a recipe but then I didn’t take any measurements. A variation from my teriyaki hambaagu, these mini chicken patties are made of minced chicken, chopped onion and cabbage  mixed with an egg and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. I pan fried the chicken on low heat and basted the golden patties with my teriyaki sauce. Served on top of a bed of shredded cabbage (in case you haven’t noticed, shredded cabbage are my new favourite salad veg), it was really quite yummy (=^__^=) and Jo loved it.

Tonight’s dinner was lime chicken salad with grilled chicken, shredded cabbage, rock melon and grape tomatoes. The dressing was made of fresh lime juice, light soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and palm sugar. I think it will be an eye opener for lunch tomorrow, goodness know I need it.

Work has been really tiring and I find myself constantly wondering ‘am I doing any good? am I actually helping?’ Very early in my career at the new place, while attending a farewell morning tea for an exec, the exec gave a  speech saying ‘I had to leave, because I was too tired of seeing nothing being done, nothing working, so I am going back to where I came from, to rest, because I am too tired’.  I hope I’ll never be in that situation even though I see many of my colleagues spiralling towards that weary road. I like to think that I’m still optimistic and will never give up.

On a bright note, I found this box of chocolates on my desk this morning. A secret admirer? I can already imagine Jason going ‘oooh’ and raising his eyebrows. But sorry to disappoint you, it was from a colleague who said that she wanted to thank me for all my help in the past few weeks. Isn’t that sweet? My other colleague also bought me a crystal elephant figurine (with sakura flowers on the back, I thought of Jo immediately but sorry hor, it’s on my office desk) from her Thailand holidays. I have nice colleagues.

I was still feeling down when I received a phonecall to go for an interview next Monday. My boss has already offered to give me mock interviews, I’m not so keen on the job, but an interview experience is an interview experience. I’ll try my best.

A while later, I received my travel itinerary. Remember how I mentioned I was going to the heart of Australia for work? I really meant Alice Springs, yes, I’m going to the Northern Territory, the red earth.  Perhaps I will only get to see the interior of the hotel, but I’m hoping for more, I want to see and experience the real Aboriginal Australia.

I fly next week. I knew it was going to be an exciting month, but now it’s a bit too exciting for me. I hope all goes well *fingers crossed* wish me luck!

Fish Fish & a bit of Love

My sister and brother-in-law sent us a parcel while they were in Hong Kong! Jo waited for me to come home from work before we opened the parcel together. So happy, we love receiving parcels, especially parcels of love *shy*

Yeah! Goodies from Hongkong!

Includes my favourite Calbee pizza, pretty stickers, those plastic balls with fun toys that we love (some for Gill as well), makeup and cute stationery.

Guess what was inside those balls? Mini plastic models of our favourite icecream on keychain, Jo loves the Korean watermelon icecream and mochi icecream are almost my favourite form of icecream (the Kowloon Dairy ones from Hongkong are soooo good). The cute cow light keychain is going to come in handy when we’re searching for our keys at night.I don’t think Jan and Andy are reading this, but thanks so much! We love the presents (^___^).

My miso fish salad a while back. I am discovering the wonders of frozen fish. I’ve always refrained from buying fresh fish only because they’re so expensive and I’m such a cheapskate. But I found out that frozen fish is actually very affordable (like $10 for 4-5 fillets) and actually taste very nice grilled and pan fried. Haven’t tried steaming frozen fish yet though, I hope it’s good.

More fish! This time it’s grilled basa fillets on a bed of cabbage and carrots. I marinated with soy sauce, a little sugar and mirin.

Another angle of the yummy fish. I’m going to enjoy discovering all the other types of fish, but I’m not sure Jo’s going to enjoy our fishy journey that much.

Ok, a detour from fish. Chicken and avocado salad, how come chicken and avocado are so good together? One of life’s biggest mysteries.

Jo is falling ill, even my colleagues are dropping like flies. It’s the flu season and with swine flu lurking around, please take care everyone. I thought I had better sustain Jo with hot food, so dinner tonight was mapo tofu, rice and a sunny side up.

I’m heading to the heart of Australia for work soon, can you guess where it is? And Jaso from Gero is coming back for this long weekend, yeah, happy days ahead!

Happy Bento Day!

After a terrible day at work, I was so glad that there was a whole evening of cooking in the kitchen to keep my mind off the horrendous day.

Yesterday Jo and I received a giant parcel from her bf in KL. It was a box filled with the cutest bento gadgets including egg molds, cookie cutters, chopsticks and sushi molds.

See, so cute! He also sent us our favourite snacks from Malaysia, Bika and Bin Bin. Once I saw the bento gadgets my little eyes lit up in glee, just in time for my birthday bento for H! Around the same time last year, I met up with H for lunch thinking that it was the last time I would get to celebrate his birthday for him. I’m so glad that all is better this year and I’m still able to celebrate his birthday for him. Officially his birthday falls on Saturday (we will be going out for dinner) but I wanted to make him a special birthday lunch bento for work. Since he couldn’t make it on Friday, we’re goin to meet up tomorrow instead.

It’s Jo’s first day at relief teaching tomorrow, so I thought it would be nice to make her a pretty bento as well. Do you like her double decker bento box? It’s one of my favourites.

I molded the sushi rice with one of the rice molds and wrapped it with nori. Top deck is stir fried pineaple beef, one of my favourite ways of cooking beef.

H’s bento box. I love this traditional looking red wooden box with the two cute rabbits in front. My mum bought this for me from Japan (^___^). Sigh, I miss my ah ma.

I love the new sushi rice molds, they look so neat and cute. I’m glad my tamagoyaki turned out good this time, I hope H likes it. I filled the extra space with grape tomatoes and coriander leaves.

This little yellow bento box is also part of H’s bento.

Top deck is also pineapple beef, it’s actually H’s favourite dish as well, I learned how to cook this from his god mother in Hongkong. Lower deck is fruit for dessert, watermelon and rockmelon pieces.

Jo’s dinner tonight. I used Cinammoroll egg mold for the rice but the shape didn’t come out right, it looks more like a ghost with big eyes (I made the eyes with seaweed pieces, haha). Avocado and lettuce salad and my grilled beef slices which I marinated with garlic, pepper and shichimi Japanese chilli powder.

My lunch bento yesterday was grilled honey soy chicken pieces, watermelon and tomato salad. Pretty tasty even eaten cold the next day. I do miss hot food for lunch though.

My lunch bento tomorrow, chilli beef and avocado salad. I will be meeting H tomorrow for his pre birthday bento lunch, I hope he likes it *fingers crossed*!

January 2020
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