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

It’s Monday (April 5, 2021)

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Last week my older son turned 10! That seems so very old…

 

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He loves burgers so I made him one!

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Some bookish gifts for the 10yo

 

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I always think that birthday cakes should be at least three layers 🙂

Also, the kids are on spring break this week so I have to figure out what to do with them….

 

Currently…

Reading:

The Absolute Book – Elizabeth Knox

Watching:

Run BTS

Listening:

Still on Shuggie Bain! Hopefully by next Monday I can say that I’m done…!

Eating and drinking:

Toast and tea for breakfast

Cooking:

Since the kids are on break, I’m going to try to get them to do some cooking with me. Not sure what to do yet but since they love to eat pasta, I’m sure they’d want to learn how to cook some kind of pasta.

 

Last week:

I read:

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Banned Book Club – Kim Hyun Sook and Ko Hyung-Ju

Sour Heart – Jenny Zhang

Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

I posted:

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Library Loot (March 31 to April 6)

Places In Books I Wouldn’t Want to Live In #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 (March 29, 2021)

Happy Monday!

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How was your weekend?

We did quite a few things last weekend. Played tennis, the kids went biking with friends while the husband and I walked.

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It was hot though!

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A friend gave us some avocados so we’ve been having a lots of avocados. I cooked some cold soba and also these tempura prawns are from the freezer section at Costco.

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I made funfetti cupcakes for a small birthday celebration for the almost 10-year-old with some friends.

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We also had his favourite takeout – burgers! This one is mine. Full of spinach, alfalfa sprouts, spring mix, roasted red peppers. There’s also beef in there somewhere 😛

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And we tried a new eatery. We had (from top right) beef rolls (it’s rolled in a green onion pancake), green onion pancake, stirfried green beans, spicy beef soup (I hadn’t poured in the spicy soup yet, and ooh it was Spicy!), zhajiangmian, xiaolongbao.

Currently…

Reading:

Love is for Losers – Wibke Brueggemann

Watching:

Haven’t quite settled on something new to watch yet!

Listening:

Still listening to Shuggie Bain. It’s really good, though it’s taking me a while to get through it! I especially appreciate all the accents the narrator uses.

Eating and drinking:

I had toast with peanut butter for breakfast. Also my usual tea with milk.

Cooking:

I’ll probably make something (or maybe we will buy something?) for the birthday boy’s actual day this week.

Other things to cook…maybe some hamachi kama or grilled yellowtail cheeks. I’ll serve it with rice and some vegetables. Or maybe vegetable soup.

Last week:

I read:

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To Have and to Hoax – Martha Waters

Chlorine Sky – Mahogany L. Browne

The Resisters – Gish Jen

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

I posted:

Library Loot (March 24 to 30)

Funny 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 (March 22, 2021)

It’s Monday again! How was your weekend?

Here’s some things we did last week (I didn’t take many pictures!)…

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I made mushroom sudubu jigae (Korean tofu stew) for the first time! It was pretty yummy! I used shiitake and baby bella mushrooms but next time I’ll try it with enoki and bunashimeiji.

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I always look forward to the first leaves on my maple tree! It’s definitely spring. Although we did have some rain last week – always lovely to have rain here in this parched state.

Currently…

Reading:

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A Pho Love Story – Loan Le

Watching:

I finally watched season 3 of The Umbrella Academy and it was glorious! Then that twist at the end!!! I also binge-watched Full Bloom on HBO Max, it’s a reality tv competition for florists! This was the first group challenge they had, to recreate a painting with flowers. Isn’t that incredible? I’ve never been a person who’s into flowers. I always remember my home economics teacher in Singapore had to take over when we did a lesson flower arrangement and I had no idea what I was doing. And it was absolutely incredible seeing all these amazing flowers that I’d never heard of before. And I like that it was a heartwarming show, more along like GBBO vibes than typical American reality TV competition (cut-throat, “I’m going to take you all down!” kind of attitude).

Listening:

Shuggie Bain

Eating and drinking:

For breakfast, tea with milk, homemade sourdough toast, and a scone.

Cooking:

Pasta? Baked pasta?

Last week:

I read:

They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

The Magic Order Vol 1 – Mark Miller

Untold Night and Day – Bae Suah

I posted:

A blueberry pie that almost didn’t make it #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (March 17 to 23)

Books On My Spring 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 (March 15, 2021)

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The boys and I made mixed berry muffins

 

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Made some honey walnut bread.

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Miso-marinated mahi-mahi which we ate with rice and stir-fried bokchoy

 

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I also made a blueberry pie for Pi Day! I’ll have to write a post for this. So many things went wrong, but at least I made a pie for Pi Day!

 

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The kids have discovered a new love for zhajiang mian(炸酱面)which literally translated is “fried sauce noodles” but that sounds weird and I wonder why it’s named that way. It’s more of a black bean sauce with ground pork with fermented soybean paste. Served with cucumbers and bean sprouts. It’s also a popular Korean-Chinese dish and in Korean it’s known as jajangmyeon although it’s black bean noodles there? It’s not something I grew up eating in Singapore so I’ve not tried to make it before. Another recipe to try then!

 

Currently…

Reading:

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The Down Days – Ilze Hugo

The Resisters – Gish Jen

Watching:

Finally, I’m starting on The Magicians season 5. Also, I just watched the first episode of Lupin last week! Fun show! 

Listening:

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Eating:

Blueberry pie

Drinking:

Oolong tea

Cooking:

I’ve got a cauliflower to roast.

My kids watched a Tasty video of potato recipes and are trying to convince me to make this one – Breakfast Potato Volcanoes. I only have Yukon golds at the moment so they might not be big enough (they use russets in the video). Or maybe they might work if there are bigger ones in that bag? I’ll have to look. I’ll post it if I make them!

We are in for a colder week this week, with hopefully some rain, so I’ll make some baked pasta or something. Maybe some tomato soup. Something nice and warming. 

Last week:

I read:

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The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

Our Happy Time – Ji-young Gong

Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salam

Traces of Love – Eileen Chang

 

I posted:

Two books about incarceration

The Shadow King and The First Wife

Library Loot (March 10 to 16)

Books that feature cleaners #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 (March 8, 2021)

It’s Monday again! Ugh. Sorry I didn’t sleep that well last night and I’m struggling to type this up on a Sunday afternoon….

Some things last week:

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We made a broccoli bacon bunashimeiji (mushroom) pizza. I like to add whole wheat flour in my pizza dough. 

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A quick weekday lunch of frozen bulgogi mandu (Korean dumplings) from Costco. And my usual instant noodle hack – cook the noodles, drain, and pour into a sauce of my own making. This is soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and a hit of ketchup. Also, before boiling the noodles, throw in some baby bokchoy to cook. 

 

 

Currently…

Reading:

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Untold Night and Day – Bae Suah

The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston

Watching:

The Magicians

Listening:

Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi

Eating:

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I made a pandan butter cake.  

 

Drinking:

 

Cooking:

 

Last week:

I read:

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Our Happy Time – Ji-young Gong

Milk Fed – Melissa Broder

I posted:

Library Loot (March 3 to 9)

Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had #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 (March 1, 2021)

Last week…

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We had Singapore-style chicken rice. That chilli is especially good. Spicy and not sweet.

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I tried out my new loaf tin and it’s a bit longer and narrower than I’m used to (it’s a Pullman tin) so I had to split my tangzhong bread into smaller sections. Also, made a Nutella babka with the tangzhong.

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Also, made a sourdough. So we’re stocked up on bread this week!

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Also, I don’t always order from Weee! (they’re an online-only Asian grocery that really took off with the pandemic) as sometimes I pop into the Asian supermarket (luckily we have a few nearby). But I feel like the produce from Weee is often fresher than some in the supermarket. And the price is good, comparable (maybe slightly cheaper?) to the supermarket. I ordered baby bokchoy, broccoli, cauliflower, Persian cucumbers, cilantro, green onion, carrots, Asian pear, as well as frozen dumplings (this pork, scallop and shrimp ones are my favourite), and tried a pork snack that tastes quite a bit like bakkwa (a kind of sweet/salty grilled pork that’s popular in Singapore).

Currently…

Reading:

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings – edited by Ellen Oh

Milk Fed – Melissa Broder

Watching:

Listening:

I just downloaded a new audiobook but haven’t started it yet.

Eating and drinking: I made steel cut oatmeal with cranberries for breakfast on Sunday and have leftovers.

Cooking:

I feel like I’m in a bit of a cooking rut….I’ll have to go and find some inspiration online or something!

Maybe I’ll try to cook some char kway teow (a Singapore-style fried noodle dish). I have to cook up some asparagus so maybe I’ll grill it and also throw in some chicken drumsticks for an easy oven dish.

Last week:

I read:

Bone in the Throat – Anthony Bourdain

Show Me A Sign – Ann Clare LeZotte

The Promised Neverland Vol 1 – Kalu Shirai

I posted:

Library Loot (February 24 to March 2)

Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud #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 (February 22, 2021)

 

While most of the country was under some crazy weather (hope you are ok where you are!), California was in its usual winter climate, except it’s once again a very dry winter, and it doesn’t look like we will be getting any rain this week either. 

We didn’t do much this week. Tennis class, band class (virtual), piano class (also virtual). 

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We went to a new-to-us park as well as a little Japanese pop-up store/takeout

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Currently…

Reading:

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Watching:

I finally watched The Queen’s Gambit! I don’t play chess and that’s probably why it didn’t interest me, but when I watched the first episode, I was hooked!

I’m curious about the book now, partly because I read this New Yorker article. 

Listening:

Eating and drinking:

Had some Nian Gao dipped in egg and panfried for breakfast. The Lunar New Year celebrations last for 15 days and so the 15th day is the 26th. So hey, Nian Gao for breakfast still works!

 

Last week:

I read:

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Lumberjanes Vol 16 – Shannon Watters

The Shadow King – Maaza Mengiste

The Heart of the Beast – Dean Motter, Judith Dupre

I posted:

Judith by Noel Streatfeild

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Library Loot (February 17 to 23)

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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 (February 15, 2021)

Happy Year of the Ox!

Here are some things we did last week…

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Made a Niu (ox) year sourdough

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We had our reunion dinner (just the four of us) of hotpot on New Year’s Eve, as is the tradition.

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I made a little Koya (BT21) for a friend’s birthday

Currently…

Reading:

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Watching:

Still watching The Magicians

Listening:

Nothing at the moment

Eating:

Sourdough bread for breakfast with a slice of brie

Cooking:

Some noodles, maybe a stew in the slow cooker.

Last week:

I read:

Huh, I’m not sure if I finished anything last week! It was a busy week with spring cleaning and stuff. I’m also in the middle of several books that aren’t the easiest to read….

I posted:

Lunar New Year Nian Gao 年糕 #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (February 10 to 16)

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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 (February 8, 2021)

Happy Monday!

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Last Saturday, I felt like having some mushroom risotto! Luckily I also remembered that I had a half package of scallops (from Costco) in the freezer. I adore risotto. For a long time I had thought it was only a thing one could have in restaurants. Then I realised that it’s actually quite easy to cook. It’s a little like cooking rice porridge (which I cook quite often), except that it requires a bit more patience and stirring. And usually I cook rice porridge with just plain water, but with risotto, I use vegetable stock. Also the difference is in the adding of cheese, as that’s not something you eat with congee 😛

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We also had dim sum over the weekend.  Mine was full of halves – half a charsiubao, half a spring roll, half a prawn ball, half a daikon cake. Full of deliciousness!

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Last week’s bread making – honey walnut bread that somehow accidentally had a face on it.

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Again, we had our opossum visitor. Aren’t these guys supposed to be nocturnal? Later in the afternoon, I came across a raccoon in the front yard of my opposite neighbour – I’ve never seen a racoon in our neighbourhood before.

Currently…

Reading:

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The husband went to pick up some groceries from the Japanese supermarket in San Jose, and I asked him to grab some stuff for lunch. It was a busy morning for me as I wanted to wet vacuum our carpets. I was spring cleaning before the Lunar New Year, the first day of which is Friday.

Watching:

Still catching up on my rewatch of The Magicians.

Eating and drinking:

Toast and tea as usual for breakfast.

Cooking:

Thursday is Lunar New Year eve, which is 团圆饭 tuanyuanfan or reunion dinner. The only family we have here is the four of us, so we always have a simple hotpot, but with really excellent quality sliced beef from the Japanese store. The hotpot usually lasts us another meal. I might also make some noodles another day.

Last week:

I read:

How to Love a Jamaican – Alexia Arthurs

Luisa: Now and Then – Carole Maurel, Mariko Tamaki

I posted:

Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami

Library Loot (February 3 to 9)

Books Written Before I Was Born #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