Posts by Sharlene

Reader. Book blogger. Parent. Eater of foods aplenty. Tea drinker. Crocheter

Library Loot (May 18 to 24)

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Wednesday! Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

A Good True Thai – Sunisa Manning

Set in 1970s Thailand, this is a story about 3 friends and the Bangkok student uprising.

What Kind of Woman – Kate Baer

I can’t remember why this poetry collection got on my holds but hey, it’s probably about time I read more poetry!

Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus

It’s the 1960s, America. A scientist becomes the star of a cooking show.

It’s Monday (May 16, 2022)

Happy Monday! Hope you all have a great week ahead.

Some things last week:

Tried a black sesame ramen at our favourite ramen restaurant. Not quite sure if I liked it! I think I associate black sesame taste with sweet items (for instance, black sesame paste which is a sweet soup, black sesame bao). But it was fun to try something new for a change.

For dinner last night, we ordered Indian/Pakistani food, which we hadn’t had for a while. Our usual order is tandoori fish and tandoori chicken (not pictured), garlic and plain naan. Three curries – mixed veg, saag dal, saag paneer. Messy looking photo, but it was delicious as always!

Sunday was National Chocolate Chip Day – not sure how my kids knew that – so I had to make some chocolate chip cookies for them!

The 11-year-old recently joined a jazz band. He plays the piano and is one of three 5th-graders in the group, the rest are teenagers. They practice every week and once a month, they perform at a local pizza place. He’s enjoying the music but still has a lot to learn when it comes to jazz piano!

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

Hacks! on HBO Max. I really like this show about a legendary Las Vegas female stand-up and a 25-year-old entitled comedy writer. It’s smart and funny, and has an older female lead.

Listening:

Still listening to Qian Julie Wang’s Beautiful Country.

Eating and Drinking:

I had some leftover steel cut oatmeal for breakfast.

Cooking:

We have more Indian food leftovers. But I’m thinking of cooking some claypot rice this week (traditionally done in a claypot but I don’t have one, so I cook it in my rice cooker). It’s a seasoned rice with Chinese sausage, chicken, and mushrooms.

Last week:

I read:

Chew volumes 8 to 12. I feel like I was in a bit of a reading slump over the past week or more. So I read a lot of these Chew comics.

I posted:

Library Loot (May 11 to 17)

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

Library Loot (May 11 to 17)

badge-4

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Library Loot Day!

What did you get from your library this week? Link-up above or in the comments below!

What I got from the library this week:

I’m still reading for AAPI month and found a list of recommendations on Instagram for Pacific Islander writers and borrowed a couple of books.

Summer of Sloane – Erin L. Schneider

A YA book set in Hawaii and written by a native Hawaiian.

Turtle Under Ice – Juleah del Rosario

A novel-in-verse by a Filipino-Chamorro writer about a sister who goes missing.

It’s Monday (May 9, 2022)

So the kids are on the mend from Covid. Thanks for your well wishes! The younger one was back at school last week, and the older one took a few more days off (he also got symptoms a few days later than the younger one). So he just went back to school today.

Warning: food pictures coming up!

We decided to have Korean BBQ at home for Mother’s Day. The kids helped prep the vegetables, the bulgogi was a premarinated one that we got from HMart. We also got some nice kalbi and pork belly. We ate it with rice and also lettuce leaves. There was also fish cakes and anchovies from the HMart deli area.

Also, on Cinco de Mayo, the kids wanted to have tacos and burritos. This was my al pastor taqueria taco from our local Mexican restaurant.

I was going to add some photos but WordPress is being a bit sh*tty so I’m giving up.

Some things last week:

Currently…

Reading:

China Boy – Gus Lee

Watching:

Upload Season 2 on Amazon video

Listening:

Beautiful Country – Qian Julia Wang

Eating and Drinking:

I had toast and a slice of Brie for breakfast.

Cooking:

I have some extra pork belly from the KBBQ so I might cook that up and add it to some ramen. I also have to cook up the rest of the bag of asparagus. Maybe a pasta with salmon and asparagus?

Last week:

I read:

A Magic Steeped in Poison – Judy I. Lin

I posted:

Tangzhong marble bread #WeekendCooking

Asian diaspora

Library Loot (May 4 to 10)

Read in April 2022

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

Tangzhong marble bread #WeekendCooking

I love tangzhong bread (also known as milk bread). If you’re not familiar with that, it’s a type of soft bread that’s made with a roux or tangzhong. It just requires an extra step of making the tangzhong but the end result is a very lovely soft bread. I first posted about tangzhong bread here.

For a few years now, I’ve been using this recipe from Christine’s Recipes. It’s an easy chuck it all the in bread mixer recipe (at least for the first part). It does result in delicious and soft tangzhong bread. But when I came across the book, Milk Bread and Mooncakes by Kristina Cho, I wanted to give her recipe a try.

So her Mother of all Milk Bread recipe is a little more involved than the one I’ve been using. Cho’s recipe asks for the milk to be scalded. Whereas, previously I had just been adding the milk in straight from the jug. Also, when adding the cut-up butter, it asks to add it piece by piece, so that the butter is fully incorporated before the next piece is added. With the other recipe, I would cut up the softened butter and just toss it all into the bread machine. The dough is a lot less wet and sticky than the recipe from Christine’s Recipes.

So when I browsed through the book, a version of the milk bread that stood out was the Matcha and Black Sesame Marbled Milk Bread recipe. I had matcha powder but didn’t have black sesame. But there was also a recipe for a chocolate version of the Mother of all Milk Bread, which was just adding 3 tbsp of cocoa powder to the dough. So I thought, I could do a chocolate marble bread instead!


It’s essentially making one loaf of Mother of all Milk Bread and then one loaf of the chocolate milk bread version. Then divide the dough into several portions. Roll one ball of regular dough out. Roll one ball of chocolate dough out. Then place one on top of the other, tuck in the sides, then roll it up, like when making regular tangzhong bread.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page

Asian diaspora

While AAPI month is more of an American event, I wanted to highlight some Asian diaspora from Singapore. I’m from Singapore although I’ve lived in the US for over ten years now. But like many other Chinese Singaporeans, my great-grandparents came from China. And I still have distant relatives who live in China, although I’ve never met them and likely never will. 

In case you’re not familiar, about 75% of Singapore’s population is ethnically Chinese. About 15% are Malays, 7.5% Indians, and 1.5% Others (these are the official term used). 

Are Singaporeans diaspora? Yes, although Singapore is part of Asia, our ancestors migrated from China to Singapore, and there they stayed and started families. 

What am I? I’m Singaporean, I’m Chinese, I’m Southeast Asian. But living in the US has made me realize that the term “Chinese” is more closely related to China than what it means in Singapore. So at times when I have to fill in a form and tick off my ethnicity, my pen hovers over “Chinese”. Am I Chinese here? Because there’s also other boxes like Taiwanese, Indonesian, Malaysian etc. Maybe I should just be Singaporean. My kids, after all, have declared themselves “Ameriporean”.

Library Loot (May 4 to 10)

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Wednesday! Claire has the link-up this week.

What I got from the library this week:

It’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. So I’ve borrowed some books that are by Asian-American writers. It’s a bit harder to find ebooks by Pacific Islanders. But I’ve put a hold on a couple of physical books, hopefully they’ll come in before the month is up!

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance – Lisa Yee

A middle grade book which has a young girl moving to a Minnesota town, where her family are the only Asian-Americans. Her grandfather is ill and her mother needs to help out at the family restaurant.

We Ride Upon Sticks – Quan Barry

I’m curious about this book, which has to do with a hockey team who are descendants of some people involved in the Salem witch trials.

China Boy – Gus Lee

A memoir about a young Chinese boy growing up in San Francisco in the 1950s.

Mooncakes and Milk Bread – Kristina Cho

I love milk bread. That’s why.

Read in April 2022

My Friend Anna – Rachel DeLoache Williams

Well, after reading this I’m definitely recommending that you NOT watch Inventing Anna on Netflix.

The Hawthorne Legacy – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The second book in the Inheritance Games series.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club – Malinda Lo

I loved this one about a teenager living in Chinatown in 1954. Its focus is on the coming of age of a Chinese-American lesbian.

Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro

A very disappointing read.

Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic – Wauter Manner

A fun comic about a young chef and a strange snack problem.

Falling Short – Ernesto Cisneros

A middle-grade novel about fitting in and basketball.

The Love Con – Seressia Glass

A cosplay reality TV show!

The Maid – Nita Prose

I listened to this one. But I didn’t really like the main character.

The Cartographers – Peng Shepherd

I was quite fascinated by this one. It has to do with maps and places hidden in maps. But the characters… I felt little for them.

Intimacies – Katie Kitamura

An audiobook that worked well for me. Fiction audiobooks are never really my thing as I can get distracted easily. But this story set in The Hague with an interpreter as the main character held onto me.

Hide and Geek – T.P. Jagger

A cute middle-grade novel about a group of geeks helping to save their town by solving puzzles.

Sea of Tranquility – Emily St John Mandel

Read my almost-review here.

Ballgowns & Butterflies – Kelley Armstrong

A novella of the Stitch in Time series. Don’t start with this one, start with A Stitch in Time.

Portrait of a Thief – Grace D Li

A kind of Ocean’s 11 but with art that was stolen from China by western countries. I really wanted to like but the characters were a bit bland.

It’s Monday (May 2, 2022)

You may have seen in my post last week that my younger son tested positive for Covid after our return from Hawaii. Not long after, my older son had a slight fever and cough. It took a few days for him to test positive after that. So for last week, it was mostly about resting at home, but also having the kids do some work that the teachers had assigned them.

My younger son is doing a lot better and had no symptoms yesterday so he went back to school today. My older son still has a cough so he’s going to stay home for a bit longer.

So we didn’t really do much over the last week. But here’s a few things:

An order from Asian online grocer Weee! I hope to make some Korean tofu soup with the mushrooms and green onions (sundubu jigae), spinach side dish (Sigeumchi-namul) which is a great way to use up any spinach you have – it’s essentially blanched spinach seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and garlic. I usually use garlic powder instead of minced raw garlic. This way there’s some garlic flavour but it’s not too strong for the kids. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days.
Got some pho with rare meat, flank, and beef balls for lunch on Saturday.
Made an Asian diaspora stack from my books as May is AAPI Heritage Month!

Currently…

Reading:

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance – Lisa Yee

The Wedding Crasher – Mia Sosa

Watching:

The Walking Dead season 10

Listening:

I recently finished Intimacies by Katie Kitamura and haven’t yet picked a new audiobook.

Eating and Drinking:

I had a pain au chocolat from Paris Baguette for breakfast.

Cooking:

I’ll be cooking some simple foods this week. Noodle soups, rice and fish with lots of vegetables. Hopefully it’s nourishing and will help improve everyone’s immune systems.

Last week:

I read:

Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic – Wauter Mannaert

Intimacies  – Katie Kitamura

While Justice Sleeps – Stacey Abrams

To Love and to Loathe – Martha Waters

I posted:

Library Loot (April 27 to May 2)

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

Library Loot (April 27 to May 2)

badge-4

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Library Loot day!

What did you get from your library this week? Let us know in the link-up above or comments below.

What I got from the library this week:

The Wedding Crasher – Mia Sosa

Ah the good old fake dating trope. I feel like I’ve read quite a few of these lately, but it’s always fun.

Operation Sisterhood – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Can’t remember where I first saw this but it looks like a cute one about sisters living in NYC.

A Twist of Fate – Kelley Armstrong

This is the second book of Armstrong’s A Stitch in Time series.