It’s Monday (June 21, 2021)

Some things last week:

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Made some chocolate chip cookies
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Rainier cherries at the farmers market
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I missed writing a blog post last week, partly because I had gotten up at 215 on Sunday morning to catch a live concert! It was 230am or 1830 Korea time. Then I did it again the next day because I had bought the two-day ticket. The concert replay was the past Friday and Saturday, thankfully at 1800 California time.

Currently…

Reading:

The Princess Trap by Talia Hibbert

Watching: Season 2 of Hospital Playlist. Also, Loki.

Listening: No books, just music. But the kids have been listening to The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

Eating: Walnut bread

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

Hainanese chicken rice

Fried noodles

Last week:

I read:

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Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala

Once Upon a Marquess – Courtney Milan

Whereabouts – Jhumpa Lahiri

I posted:

Library Loot (June 16 to 22)

Summer 2021 TBR #TopTenTuesday

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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

It’s Monday (June 7, 2021)

Happy Monday! Hope you had a nice weekend.

It’s the last few days of school! We made it through a full year of distance learning (it all started end March 2020. How long ago that seems…).

The school district hasn’t exactly said what’s going to happen when the new school year begins, but the plan at least is to be back in person, finally.

Some things last week:

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White nectarines from the farmers market
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Rainier cherries are back!
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The boys made Japanese curry last week (with some help from me). I usually throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand so this time it had carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli.
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The husband’s office had some “international snacks” box sent over. I mean, ok there were a few things I hadn’t seen before like tamarind candy and a Brazilian drink with guarana (apparently has more caffeine than coffee??). But I reckon they could do better than just rice crackers for Asia. Asian snacks are the best! I mean, prawn crackers, salted egg yolk fish skin, White Rabbit candy, all the different Pocky flavours etc..
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I wish I could take credit for this spicy beef soup, but all I did was open the packet and warm it up. I did add green onions and instant noodles though. But it was a packet of Korean beef soup I picked up at the supermarket. It was delicious though!
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Dinner yesterday was takeout from our favourite Malaysian/Burmese restaurant. We had beef rendang, char kway teow, hor fun, curry mee.

Currently…

Reading:

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Minor Feelings – Cathy Park Hong

Watching: Hospital Playlist

Eating: Homemade sourdough bread, toasted, with butter.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

Maybe some soondubu jigae (tofu stew) I love making this! At first I started out with a soondubu “kit” that comes with a packaged paste and tofu. But I realised that I could make it with the chili powder (gochugaru), kimchi, some broth, and your favourite ingredients. I usually make it with just mushrooms and a packaged vegetable broth paste. And the soft tofu too. Of course, it’s not the traditional way (see the link for a better recipe).

Last week:

I read:

Heiress Apparently – Diana Ma

Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

I posted:

Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

Library Loot (June 2 to 8)

Classics With Great Covers #TopTenTuesday

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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

It’s Monday (May 31)

Happy Monday! We’ve got a long weekend here in the US, as it’s Memorial Day. Hope you had a good weekend.

Some things last week…

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The school had their book fair last week. It was all outdoors, socially distanced, and we had to book a half-hour appointment. It was the boys’ first time back on the campus for over a year.
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A nice hike along the hills. As always, once it hits late April, it’s all brown.

We also had our first barbeque of the year. Steak, sausages, asparagus, and a tomato salad. It was a nice day to sit in our backyard and hang out.

Currently…

Reading: Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

Watching: Hospital Playlist. It’s my first K-drama! It’s maybe a bit less typical for a K-drama as it’s set in a hospital and is about a group of five doctors (4 men 1 woman) who have been friends since medical school. I always presume that most K-dramas are about romances (let me know if I’m wrong!), and so far there hasn’t been any in this show.

The five of them also play in their own band. Which is probably the “playlist” part of the title.

But what I found quite interesting is learning that hospitals in Korea also host funerals. They have their own reception and dining areas for the wake.

Listening: Butter by BTS

Eating: Had some toast for breakfast and a bit of mozzarella cheese.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking:

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The 8yo has discovered that he likes cherry tomatoes. Or at least the tomatoes that we got at Costco the other day. It was a mix of different types of cherry tomatoes. He decided we had to have it both at lunch and dinner.
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An order I placed with online Asian grocer Weee! So I have to now figure out what to do with the sprouts and broccoli.

Last week:

I read:

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Heiress Apparently – Diana Ma

Nuclear Winter Vol 1 – Caroline Breault

I posted:

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Library Loot (May 26 to June 2)

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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

It’s Monday (May 24, 2021)

Happy Monday! Oh we are almost at the end of May already…The kids have just a couple of weeks of school left!

How was your weekend?

We had originally planned to visit Singapore in summer. But the situation in Asia has gotten worse in the past few weeks. So we canceled our plans. So unfortunately, we won’t be seeing our families for yet another year…

Hopefully we can go back next year!

Meanwhile, I have to figure out what the kids will be doing in summer.

Some things last week:

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A hot morning for playing tennis with friends. I took this photo while outside with my younger one – the only shade was outside the court under the trees. He said he was too hot and wanted a break.
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Farmers market haul.
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Since we can’t go back to Singapore, we had to go satisfy our need for some Singapore-style Hainanese chicken rice.
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And the kids wanted pizza so we got from our favourite pizza place. It so happens to be an South Asian pizza place. So we had a half paneer masala.

Currently…

Reading:

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The Avant-Gardes – Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes

Watching: The Veronica Mars movie. I had been browsing HBO Max and this was one of the movies that was leaving the streaming service. Somehow I hadn’t seen it before?? Which is interesting as I loved the series!

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: Homemade waffles. I made plenty of extras yesterday. Some for the freezer. And some for today.

Drinking: Tea

Cooking: I want to make some pad thai. And maybe some beef rendang.

Last week:

I read:

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Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

I posted:

Library Loot (May 19 to 25)

Complete Sentence Book Titles #TopTenTuesday

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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

It’s Monday (May 17, 2021)

So this whole, oh if you’re vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask, thing is a bit premature, isn’t it?

I don’t know about you, but I won’t be giving up my mask any time soon. As you may know, I’m fully vaccinated. But my kids are 10 and under, so they aren’t able to get vaccinated yet. And we don’t know yet when that will happen. So as long as they’re not vaccinated, I’m still going to wear my mask, and still take precautions.

I know this “off with the masks” thing is about encouraging more people to get vaccinated but ugh, it’s way too early. Look what’s happening in so many countries in Asia!

Some things last week:

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The kids wanted zhajiang mian. We also ordered some shrimp fried rice, xiaolongbao, and shrimp and prawn dumplings (they’re purposely fried together like that). I made a tofu noodle salad as well.
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Also, this is the kids’ new favourite ramen place. Because of this butter miso ramen. I was heating up the soup so this is before I poured any soup. Also, the plastic part is how they separate the ingredients from the noodles. You just slide the ingredients on top of the noodles when you’re ready to eat.
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We finally went to the farmers market again! And hooray they had cherries and (giant) strawberries. There were some stone fruits like nectarines and peaches but they didn’t really look at their best yet. So maybe in a couple more weeks?

The cherries were sweet and so were the strawberries, in case you’re wondering. It was nice to see the farmers market bustling again. And you’re actually allowed to touch the produce now. I especially appreciate that they still enforce masks.

Currently…

Reading:

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Watching:

I finally decided to watch Falcon and the Winter Soldier. So far I’ve seen the first two episodes. And it’s pretty good so far. I like that we see some of the other characters from the Marvel movies, like Zemo, Rhodey, Sharon Carter. And that we get to know Falcon’s family.

Listening: No books, just music.

Eating: A slice of lemon, blueberry, almond flour cake. It’s an Ottolenghi recipe (Recipe here).

Drinking: Tea

Cooking: I might make a slow cooker bolognese this week. I’ve not tried it on the slow cooker before, so I’m just curious to see how it goes.

Last week:

I read: The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn

I posted: Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner

Library Loot (May 12 to 18)

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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

It’s Monday (May 10, 2021)

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For Mother’s Day, I felt like having Indian-Pakistani food. So many yummy things. Three vegetable curries, tandoori fish and chicken and lamb chops! Also garlic naan and plain naan.

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The boys made me some cute bracelets!
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Hope you all had a lovely weekend and here’s to a great week ahead!

Currently…

Reading:

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Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Watching: The husband and I watched Tenet over the weekend. It was very action-packed and mind-bending with its whole time entropy and backwards thing. But as I thought about it more, I realized that Nolan (who wrote and directed it) forgot about the emotions part of it. I really like his other movies like Memento, Inception, Interstellar. But as I thought more about it, while those movies also play a lot on time and memory, there was also emotion.

If you haven’t seen any of these shows, don’t read any further!

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Those three other movies were so much about lives lost and memories of loved ones. And that wanting to stay with a lost memory of a person who’s not there anymore. There was feeling and emotion and relationships.

Tenet was a lot harder. I think you can’t have the Protagonist be any more than that because his whole journey has, in a sense, just begun. And because of the play with time, there is difficulty bringing in anything more in terms of background and details about him.

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Eating and Drinking: I had a slice of sourdough toast and a goat milk brie.

Cooking:

It’s going to be a much warmer week from today onwards! We will be hitting the 30s (Celsius) and while that number may not seem very high (Singapore is always in the highs of 30+), I feel that in CA because there’s so little (almost no) cloud cover, once you’re in the direct sunlight it’s so much hotter than 30.

Last week:

I read:

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Peaks and Bandits – Alf Bonnevie Bryn

Loveboat, Taipei – Abigail Hing Wen

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) – Patricia Briggs

Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner

I posted:

Library Loot (May 5 to 11)

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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

It’s Monday (May 3, 2021)

Happy Monday! And oh hey, it’s May already.

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Good news! I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday afternoon. Here’s the required photo, taken by my 10yo. This time we did it in a CVS pharmacy, about a half an hour drive, so we didn’t need to do the 3.5 hour drive down to Central CA like we did the first time!

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Made some laksa from a premade paste. I didn’t have the right noodles, so I just used the fresh egg noodles I was trying to use up.

 

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Made some tangzhong bread – oops, one of those rolls of dough was a bit bigger than the others

 

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We had celebratory steak frites on Sunday. Don’t worry, we shared that ribeye.

 

Currently…

Reading:

The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn

Watching:

Together with the kids, I watched The Mitchells and the Machines. It’s a really fun family movie!

Listening:

Ok. I really ought to go figure out a new audiobook to download….

Eating:

A mocha croissant from Paris Baguette

Drinking:

Tea

Cooking:

I just realised that I may have the ingredients to cook a simplified version of sayur lodeh. It’s a popular dish in Singapore, essentially a coconut curry with vegetables. Usually it’s cabbage, green beans, tofu, carrots. There are some spices to use and a rempah or spice paste to make. Here’s a recipe. Usually it’s eaten with rice and as part of a multi-course meal known as nasi Padang.

In Singapore, when you go to a Nasi Padang place, there’s all kinds of delicious cooked foods, some curries, some fried foods, and you just pick a few things that you’d like and they put it on a plate with rice for you. I always pick sayur lodeh as it’s one of my favourites.

Last week:

I read:

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Anna K by Jenny Lee

Class Act by Jerry Craft

The Inland Sea by Madeleine Watts

I posted: Library Loot (April 28 to May 4)

Top not-quite animals #TopTenTuesday

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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

It’s Monday (April 26, 2021)

Hello, it’s Monday again. And good grief, we are almost into May. (I don’t actually say “good grief” but I don’t want to use swear words on this blog, so feel free to replace “good grief” with your favourite swear word.)

So last weekend, my younger son turned 8! We had ramen and cake and tennis with friends. And presents and Skype sessions with grandparents. 

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The birthday boy wanted ramen for lunch. So we tried a new place. I had tonkotsu ramen but the kids’ butter miso was tastier! Also, their chilli garlic calamari appetite was surprisingly good. It’s the way they cooked their calamari. Just nicely cooked so it’s not too chewy. In my opinion most places overcook squid

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And this is funfetti cake number 2 of the year. I made it with strawberry frosting (using freeze-dried strawberries) outside and chocolate frosting inside.
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Currently…

Reading: Anna K by Jenny Lee

Watching: Vincenzo.

Listening: Still haven’t landed on a new audiobook yet… any suggestions?

Eating and drinking: Cake!

Cooking: Hmmm I have a cabbage to cook up. Maybe I’ll make some soup with fish balls and cabbage. And then another day, I’ll stirfry the cabbage and serve that along some claypot rice.

Last week:

I read:

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Sharks in the Time of Saviors – Kawai Strong Washburn

A Pho Love Story – Loan Le

I posted:

Colorful Book Covers #TopTenTuesday

Library Loot (April 21 to 27)

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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

It’s Monday (April 19, 2021)

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Latest online grocery order (from Weee) – pea sprouts, two types of mushrooms, a lot of broccoli, Chinese pears, grapes, and Korean noodles

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Made some Hawaiian-style macaroni salad
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My plant has exploded with purple blooms. The bees are loving it.
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We first played this game last week. It’s a cooperative game similar to Pandemic, but slightly easier I think. At least the 7yo was more willing to try it compared to his dislike for Pandemic.

Currently…

Reading:

The Inland Sea – Madeleine Watts

Watching:

I just finished watching Knives Out on Amazon video. The plot was more amusing and clever than I thought it would be! It was also a really great cast too. 

Listening: Nothing at the moment.

Eating and drinking:

I had oatmeal for breakfast. The usual tea too.

Cooking:

Well I have no idea. But I’ll have to cook up the broccoli and mushrooms from last week’s buys.

Last week:

I read:

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I posted:

Library Loot (April 14 to 20)

Crayola Color-like Titles #TopTenTuesday

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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

It’s Monday (April 12, 2012)

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Happy Monday!

The kids were on spring break last week and we managed a short weekend getaway.

So many firsts this past weekend…

The first time we’ve been out of the Bay Area in over a year.

The first time we’ve been to Tulare County.

The first time we’ve stayed in a hotel in over a year.

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Prawn pasta

The first time we’ve eaten out in over a year.

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Also, the first dose of covid-19 vaccine for the adults. A drive through one, no less.
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Driving towards the tent where we’ll wait for 15 minutes.
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And a first time to Sequoia National Park for us. What a lovely place!
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The General Sherman Tree is the most famous landmark in Sequoia – a height of 83.8 metres (275 ft), a diameter of 7.7 m (25 ft), and it’s about 2,300–2,700 years old
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The kids said that this tree near General Sherman is General Sherman’s nose

I have to admit being a bit anxious at a few points during the trip. While at the hotel, the staff were all masked and the place was very clean. But there were some guests who weren’t masked…And also at the national park, although they ask you to wear masks, there were still quite a few people who didn’t wear them. It made me realise that being in the Bay Area, where everyone wears a mask, it does make me so uncomfortable when I come across people who don’t. Especially when indoors!

Currently…

Reading:

The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

Watching:

The Promised Neverland – an anime available on Netflix

Listening:

Nothing at the moment!

Eating and drinking:

Blueberry muffin and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

I ordered some groceries from Weee! to be delivered tomorrow. It includes pea sprouts (dou miao 豆苗) which I adore. From the photo on the app, I believe it’s the da dou miao or the more grown version of the pea sprouts. I believe they are snow pea sprouts? Anyway, one of my absolute favourite vegetables. Sweet, a little bit crunchy, and delicious when simply stir-fried. There are some photos on this Serious Eats page, if you’re curious. I’ll serve it maybe with some stir-fried soy sauce chicken and potatoes, and rice of course.

Also, last week I bought some lamb loin chops from Costco, and will try to cook that up. Maybe serve it with Brussels sprouts.

Last week:

I read:

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water – Zen Cho

I posted:

Library Loot (April 7 to 13)

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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