Friday, February 26, 2010

From Morning Walk....

Had little walk with our two guests this morning along the river after the kids left for school. It was a cloudy morning, so even at after 7, the sun has not really shone.

Spotting a cat and more.....

Passing many bridges including one of my favorite ones...., the Alkaff brige.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We are having visitors and I was under a little pressure to provide dinners for them and the kids that, of course, have all different dinner timings. Yes, I planned it. Of course I plan. I soaked the bread in whole milk hours ago but I only had my start on this towards evening only. It all ended well, the dish was ready for everyone on time!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Color Change

The very same flowers changed color. The bottom picture was taken about three weeks ago and the yellow one was taken today. Interesting. But apparently, that happens. It is something new I learned today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

We Are The World -YouTube Edition

57 artists in one video, singing "We Are The World". These YouTubers sang from their bedrooms, living rooms, whichever part of the buildings they were in. They are talented and inspirational! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yu Sheng Time!

In this country, Chinese New Year is not complete without Yu Sheng, a raw fish salad symbolizing abundance, prosperity and good fortune. It is an Asian salad of various vegetables shredded thinly and long and top with sliced raw salmon. The dressing is sweet plum sauce. We do not make it a "must have" but we tend to order one when we eat in any Chinese restaurants during the first 15 days of Chinese New Year, when they still serve the dish. We had it yesterday too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Still Here...

Our basil plants are still alive and growing well. In fact, they have produced plenty excellent seeds that I have planted and produced more excellent plants.

These are the new plants that were planted around a month ago. I have started pinching their leaves already, they should be bushier than their parents, I hope.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Salmon In Puff Pastry

We have slowly evolved from salmon in phyllo to salmon in puff pastry. While some might like it better with phyllo, the convenience of using ready-made puff pastry has won me over. How we wrap the salmon can be done in many different ways, I like the way I did it this time because it allows crunchiness across the board. Salad on the side with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, is a good company to this rather light lunch.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blue And Bright....

Another day without rain. It was hot and humid. The sky was bright, beautiful, blue and the day was clear..... I am waiting for a little rain.... now someone, do the rain dance, it might work!

Monday, February 15, 2010


There could be more than 100 marigolds popping up in our small garden. I am simply in awe. Goodness!

Annual Overloads...

I am so blessed to have a very generous in-laws and friends that, every year, never fails, out pour us with Chinese New Year goodies, so much more that we could ever eat, especially with the season of Lent being right around the corner. Ash Wednesday is two more days, marking the beginning of the Lent when basically the food consumption is suggested to be less and restricted.

Our routine for as long as we could remember is that we pass on most of the food we received to others. Distribution will commence soon......

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai....

Happy Chinese New Year! It will be the year of the tiger beginning tomorrow.... and it is also Valentine's Day for those who celebrate it. Have a safe and happy celebration!

Reunion dinner is about to begin in hours.... eat and be merry!

Friday, February 12, 2010

6:54 AM

The sky was really gorgeous this morning, it was barely 7AM and the kids were getting ready for school. The sun has not quite risen yet. Click on the picture to see the bigger version, you can see the moon above the tallest building in it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Lot More....

More and more marigolds are blooming. Really lovely....... It rained, but wayyyyyy... too little to wet the grounds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tikka Masala

I was walking to the bus stop this morning to send Miss K to school and our conversation led to the topic of the T-storm that was expected to take place this morning. She asked, "Mom, you really believe that sort?" That made me think. Actually I do not really count much on weather forecast, I was just a little desperate for rain. It has really been a while since it rained. So, I was just clinging on hope.....

So did we get the T-storm as predicted? Of course not, we got a little rain only. Very little. It was a little cooler and windier too, in fact the wind managed to knock down one of our potted plants, again. But yours truly had to water the plants generously again today.......

I cooked Chicken Tikka Masala and Naan for dinner. I still had a pack of the seasoning that I put in the freezer, it really had to be used. I was reminded of this when I stumbled upon a Butter Chicken recipe this morning. Another day passed by. Four days to Chinese New Year......

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Are We Really...?

Snowmageddon in north America and hot dry days in the countries around this region. Life just can't be fair. It is cloudy here at present and it has started to sprinkle. The weather forecast says that we are expecting some rains later on and I surely am looking forward to that.

But too bad, at my meeting time tomorrow, there will be T-storms???.....

Monday, February 08, 2010

One Lunch Date...

We, i.e. DH and I, finally had a lunch date. Without so much fuss, we decided on a place that we had been before in Vivocity. I could not remember the name, but knew the location, sadly I got the wrong floor. DH got the name correctly but had no clue on which side of the building it is located. We are just perfect for each other...... After checking on the directory, we found the place.

To my surprise, because it is not Chinese New Year yet, there were many tables with that special Chinese New Year salad, famously called yu sheng. Our next table with two ladies only had also one gigantic plate of that salad. We did not order that, we would wait until we have more people on the table. I don't think the two of us could handle it well enough.

DH was surprisingly super cooperative with what I offered to order, both of which, we never had before. One was sort of shrimp dumpling and another was shrimp wrapped in bean curd skin. We also had roast pork and green beans with fish. He ATE the green beans. Surprise-surprise! Of course his favorite, lo mai kai, was ordered too.

My dessert, was a glass of mango cream with sago and grass jelly, which I love. Again, I never had this before, I always like to try something new. DH's dessert was the same old-same old Guo Ling Kao. Can you tell how different we are.....?????

We are still together after lunch! And ever.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

More Marigolds ...

It's really the time for Marigolds these days. The flowers are blooming and give us a very pretty sight.

We had very little amount of rain in the past two days, thankfully we still have water to nourish our plants.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Finding The Recipe...

My heart is broken with news of the passing of my youngest daughter's friend's father. My guess-timate, he was around my age. It was so unexpected and there was no warning. This man's and his wife's children are still young and life changed in juts one split second. It's so so so sad....Life is so truly unfair to some. Just think of those Haitians if you can't think of one situation like that.

I began to wonder if the kids can continue their study in the same school since it is very likely that the father was an expatriate. Are they moving to another country? I also wonder about their plan to move in to their brand new house. Is is going to happen? I don't know. the answers. But I know how it feels like losing a father because that happened to me when I was seven years old. I know about moving to a new house and the plans, the plans and the plans of tons of things for the new house as it happened so recently to us. I, by no means, underestimate the ability of the family to cope with the situation, but I could not help myself being beaten. My prayer for them.

My sweet and sour pork has nothing to do with whatever I am feeling at present. It was my attempt to duplicate this delicious sweet and sour pork ribs from a nearby restaurant that we like so much. I used thinly sliced pork instead of ribs for easier eating, but the sauce still has not come close to the one they have. I will try again another time. This one is not too bad.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Zinnias...

It has been a little while since I wrote about our Zinnias. We are having so many of them, we have mostly yellow ones , but we also have some purple ones.

Many more blossoming and they are just gorgeous.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Colorful ....

I had a friend over with her little 5-year old daughter yesterday so I thought some chocolate cupcakes decorated with colorful sprinkles would be just great for both her and her mother. Besides, my two children love them too. We had not had them for a while. To make it simpler, I used Betty Crockers' Devil Cake Mix. I still had many boxes bought over the summer in the USA. It's about time to start using them, summer is coming in no time.....

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Marigolds ...

Late bloomers, maybe. I planted them around the same time as the sunflowers and now I began to see the flowers blooming. I see people selling marigolds as part of Chinese New Year decorations, but most of what I have seen have bigger flowers, they are of different kind, I believe.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta With Mushroom

I am not a big fan of pasta, likely because I prepare too many dishes for my family that I just get tired of them. Occasionally though, I still cook pasta with something different that the rests are not willing to take, for myself. This time, it was made for one person, me, and I got to throw in anything I wanted to. I had them with brown mushroom, shrimp and basil leaves. Add some seasonings and top them with sliced parmagiano. Just the way I like it.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Adding More...

Whoa... it is February. 31 days have gone by and we have entered the second month of the year.

DH is officially obsessed with plants and flowers. He is obsessed with getting them and having them around the house, but he barely looks after them. He likes to check them out and make sure that they are okay and asks questions about the welfare of his plants as if I were his paid helper. It is almost like loving to have babies but he neither feeds them nor changes their diapers. Man!

I am so thankful that he is not into puppies or babies. I would have been in much more serious trouble should this be the case!

To complete the number of pots of petunia that we have, he bought one more of red ones. Pretty. Now we have three, pink, purple and red. Let's make sure they live long. It has been super nasty hot and sunny over the past many days here. We barely had any rain last week.

We have many ixoras of different types. The nursery that we went to had this type when we went there last week. I love these two, especially the leaves, they look adorable. We'll leave them in the pots for the time being.

DH has always had his eyes on bougainvillea wherever we go. The overhead bridges, the churches, people's house, side streets.... they all seem to show some bougainvilleas. Last week when we went to the nursery, it happens that they have many great selections and he picked one.

I am now busy-busy-busy-busy- with the plants. My life=PLANTS!