Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Isn't it time for Spring? Spring has sprung, I thought that should be the case by now.... I don't know what they have here in Sapporo at the end of March. It's still squirming around 0°C and it is so cold irregardless what number it is.

We saw snow on the side road from airport to the city of Sapporo.

A restaurant with the statue looking like Big Boy in the USA, but it says Victoria. So, it is Victoria!

The small plane with one nicest flight attendant in the world, that took us to Sapporo from Tokyo. The picture was taken from inside the bus that transported the passengers from the terminal to the parked plane, I suppose the bluish color comes from the window...

Monday, March 29, 2010

To The Cold

We had lots of rain here in the past weeks but we had a strong sun this morning. But then we had rain again this afternoon. It poured, in fact. Irregardless, it is still so much warmer compared to the place we are heading to, Sapporo, Japan.

Some forecast snow today or tomorrow in fact, but I hope the snow arrives after we check in to our hotel. We just don't want to have to walk and drag our suitcases from the train station to the hotel in the snow, as much as we love having some, or a bit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I planted this turmeric, back in mid December, without much expectation. I took a piece of root out of several in the bag that I purchased from a supermarket nearby, mainly to plant as I normally like it better using turmeric powder than grating a fresh root due to the fact that I tend to have accident with shredding... The plant has been growing well and I love the look of it. It's not a demanding plant at all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Color It Purple...

Our bougainvilleas have begun blossoming again after losing all of their flowers. Bright purple in the garden. Just nice!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthday Lunch

Happy birthday to me!

After months of living in a new place, we still haven't quite settled with things that need to be repaired. We still have workers come and go to fix this and that. Today was my lucky day. We had people come to fix the painting on one of the cupboard door in one of the rooms and the wash basin in our master room. As for birthday, nothing was planned, aside from the one in college, one child was still out of the country. But I knew that lunch would take place, anyway, sandwiched between appointments before and after the meal.

Just he and I, on Friday, during Lenten season, trying to find a place enticing enough to have meal in, the one that serve non-meat dishes in reasonable portions. I came up with a few ideas including vegetarian meal from a restaurant in Holland village, which was quickly tossed to the bottom of the list as it is a 15-minute drive and I felt like being near home. DH suggested Japanese, since it offers so many options for non meat dishes. But in three days will be in Japan and will be able to eat Japanese food every single meal on every single day! So, NO!

We settled for Italian lunch right down the building by the Singapore river. I had, at the very top, risotto with King Prawns and scallops with saffron sauce. DH opted lunch special which was a great bargain, with mozzarella and tomato salad, picture is right above, as appetizer and pan fried sea bass for the main entree, middle picture. Dessert was included too, but practically unappetizing looking.... We were stuffed anyway. Head back home!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sticky Buns...

I made these sticky buns on impulse. I knew ahead of time that cinnamon rolls or any sweet rolls are not favorites in this household. I also knew there were only two people being at home at present. Yet, I still went ahead and did it.

Sticky buns are sticky ans sweet and really.... ummmphhhh... to those who like them. I halved the recipe and adjusted it accordingly. I went proportionally with the goey stuff and replaced the pecans with almond. First, I did not have pecans and second, I do not like like pecans, neither my little companion here at home.

The bread texture was really wonderful, but I should have cut the amount of sugar everywhere as I mostly do when I use a recipe from the the USA. I don't know if the sugar here is sweeter or simply I always like them with less sugar.

These are a bit way too sweet to play into my preference. They look quite good in pictures, though.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On A Day...

Dark cloud was hanging in the sky, not long after 7AM in the morning yesterday. Subsequently, we had rain and strong wind. So strong that it knocked down many of the potted plants in the garden and forced some plants to really bowed down. Grrhhh... it's so tricky to deal with the weather as we can't simply alter the house according to what we need. I doubt if we can get the permission from authority in charge to alter any parts on the outside of the building to accommodate our needs. It's a bummer.

During the rain and after, there's a long stretch of cars, practically crawling bumper to bumper, heading towards the business district area.

After the rain, the air was, of course, cleared up and I began noticing things that I did not pay attention to before. Like the fact that there are some trees being put up there on the top of Marina Bay Sands Casino building. I had to use my gigantic lens to capture that.

Comes the evening, comes the magnificent colors in the sky.

Then the sun set, displaying awesome orange black colors in the sky. What a day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gnocchi With ....

Just one kid being at home and the chef is back and employed. The kitchen was smoking hot, the smell of bacon and basil filling the air and dirty dishes were all around.

The gnocchi were cooked in boiling water then transferred to hot pan that was used to cook the chopped bacon, they were left for a minute or two until both sides were slightly browned. The rest of the friends entered into the pan were cherry tomatoes, chopped basil, black pepper, cream and milk. Sprinkle with bacon and some slices of parmigiano. That's it. Ready to eat!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hot Mocha...

I must have looked like a crazy woman. While everyone else dressed up for the weather around, I looked like I was dressing up for the weather in Mongolia. I was on the train to airport to pick up my little partner and I was sure that I was the only one with socks and covered shoes, jeans, long sleeve shirt and an extra coat and of course a pashmina, wrapping around my neck. Despite all those, I was still shivering......

What people say being a mother means that you can never be sick is, so true. Okay, I say so. I don't know what others say. Blame it the lack of sleep for many days that I became a sick old woman. I have been waking up around 5:30AM on weekdays and on Saturday it was an even earlier day for me as my No. 2 was leaving to Cambodia. Sunday was another early day too as DH was taking an early flight to Hong Kong. My body just could not take it anymore.....

I arrived early enough at the airport before 10PM arrival time and a cup of hot mocha kept me warm a bit. At least until I started walking to the arrival hall...... I made it, though. That's what matters.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bright Pink On The Green...

A little rose has blossomed since yesterday, looking great in the cool morning that we had after all night drizzle...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Empty Nest... Temporary

This is likely the first time since we have three children, that all of them are out of the house, out of the country. In fact, they are in three different countries, doing different things. One in the USA, another in Cambodia and the last one in Hong Kong.

They are not away for too long, since one of them will be coming back tomorrow when the conference that she is attending is over. It's of Global Issues Network. How serious is that? Goodness gracious me! That sounds soooo... serious for an 8th grader! May I add that it is also attended by 2009 CNN Hero of the year. That's some business she's doing!

We enjoyed our Saturday and time off from the kids by having Japanese buffet and shamefully stuffed ourselves with lots of calories and cholesterol that came in many various delicious forms. And who needs dinner after such a heavy lunch? None of us.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Growing Zinnias...

We have harvested some Zinnia seeds from the flowers that grew in our garden and dried up. Some seeds in fact were blown away by the wind and just grew wherever-around our garden. Some, I planted on purpose and they grew nicely. Hopefully, we will have more pretty Zinnias in the coming months.... These plants are about 10 days old.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Portobello On Bread..

It was a simple meal. Sliced portobello was sauteed on the pan with a little bit of olive oil and chopped basil, seasoned with some salt and pepper. Put them on top of a slice bread that has been pan-grilled. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese and put them in the oven until the cheese melted and turned browned. Ready to eat!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3-Wk Old Basil

I planted these basil plants around three weeks ago and they are growing well. They are easy to grow, needing practically sun and water and occasionally or periodically, fertilizer. Their fourth set of leaves are about to grow bigger and in no time, I should start pinching the leaves.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I got to know one more plant's name, it's another milestone for me. This is Lantana, one of DH's pick that turned out to be not too difficult to look after. We were worried for a while when the flowers disappeared after a while, but they keep on coming back and always look lovely and colorful.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thai Basil

We got this Thai Basil for nearly two weeks already, we still have not make much use of it other than displaying them, since their purple flowers are quite pretty. For our cooking, we still use the Sweet Basil.

I am looking forward to harvesting the seeds, I really want to begin planting them myself....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

White Yeast Bread

I got away from the No-Knead Bread recipe that I have been using over the past many months or maybe more than a year. I thought of making a white bread with smoother texture and requiring some kneading in the process. My arm muscles could use some workout sometimes. This bread was made using Rachel Allen's recipe. It's a simple process and I really love the result.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Salad With Black Pepper Beef

Colorful salad looks good on pictures, but it does taste good too. The dressing was Dijon mustard with honey and olive oil, as simple as that. The beef was sauteed with black pepper sauce and chopped basil. What else? I have tons of basil leaves now. That's our dinner last night.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are good old fashion-classic. Just use the basic recipe and good ingredients and we get some great cookies that nearly everyone like. Chewy on the inside, yet they are a little crispy on the outside, my kind of cookies!

I made them in the morning yesterday as half of them were to be taken to Jakarta for gifts. The rest of us here are working on half of them here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After many weeks with very little rain, we had it today. It began from the wee hours when most of us were still asleep to .... maybe afternoon??? The picture above was taken at 11:51 AM. Dark and barely no visibility. It was a color picture, but it looks like a black and white one. Dull morning, but nevertheless, I am grateful for the water.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Yellow Alders...

We only have one plant of this, it was tiny with just one flower when we began. DH got it from our previous residence. For many months, I didn't know what this was called until yesterday. By accident, when I was researching another subject, I stumbled into some pictures of this flower, with the name.

Even with just one plant, I see flowers everyday, many of them. The other day, I got 17 of them. Ladies and gents, here are Yellow Alders....

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Birds Are Back...

Pedilanthus or tall slipper plant, this plant is called. Yay... I finally got the name. Easily said, this is bird plant, as the flower's shape is like a bird. After not having anything but a stick-like branch standing in the pot for a while, we have some flowers again. Two have bloomed and two more are about to as well, quite soon, we will see more little birds....