It’s Monday and it’s going to be a rainy week

Things hopefully are taking the turn for the better this week – although I just got an email from the first grade teacher saying that several kids are home sick today and to please not bring your kids to school if they show symptoms and so on. And why yes that is a big bag full of noodles – some freshly made noodles. Not by me that is but it’s made in a noodle factory and is so good. We’ve tried several brands of noodles in the Asian supermarkets and this is just surpassing them all. We’ve been having noodles and more noodles for several dinners!

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

I tried an episode of The Orville but I don’t know, is it meant to be funny? It really wasn’t. I did like The Good Girls though! That was far more watchable, with a great cast and storyline.

Listening:

I’ve just downloaded this audiobook which is read by Archie Panjabi.

Eating:

I’m typing this at swim class (so much for planning ahead) and so I’m thinking of what’s for dinner and it’s easy today – leftovers. We have leftovers from the Korean food we had on Sunday and some leftovers from the Kebab Shop. Korean food and kebabs? Why not!

Drinking:

Lots of water

Cooking:

I actually cooked over the weekend, made that steamed pomfret up on top.

This week, I’ll do some braised slow cooker pork with tofu, served with rice and some vegetables.

I seem to have depleted my supply of bolognese (I usually make a big pot and freeze it) so I’ll have to cook that later this week.

And I’ll probably make some bread. The husband likes walnut bread and the kids like the pain de mie I made but I may just try this recipe for delightful looking Gruyere-stuffed buns!

Last week:

I read:

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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
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It’s Tuesday and it’s been a cough cough cough week

Ugh. This past week has been a not so good one – I’ve come down with some sort of cold/cough thing that just has me beat. I finally decided to try some NyQuil last night. I really hate/love NyQuil, the way it knocks me out so easily and yet leaves me feeling so tired and hungover the next day that I wonder, was there really a point to taking it? But take it I will, so that I won’t be up at 4 coughing and coughing!

Anyway, coughs aside, it’s been a do-nothing-much kind of weekend. But there was rain! And hail!

Currently…

Reading:

An American Marriage – Tayari Jones
The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin

Watching:

A bit of Chicago Med and a lot of the new Queer Eye!

Listening:

Eating:

Well I had half of a bagel spread with kaya (coconut jam) for breakfast

Drinking:

Lots and lots of green tea

Cooking:

I think I’ll make a shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight – it’s easy to prep it ahead and bake it when we get home from tennis class this evening.

Last week:

I read:

Apparently when I’m sick the thing that helps is romance novels. I’ve disdained this genre for most of my life but I decided to come in with an open mind and I was wowed by the clever and funny writing. Consider me a fan now of Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan!

Romancing the Duke – Tessa Dare
Duchess War – Courtney Milan
The Heiress Effect – Courtney Milan

I posted:

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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 and it’s finally raining!

Boy have we been having a dry winter here in California. There’s been talk of that dreaded “D” word again – DROUGHT. But maybe there’s some hope with this week’s forecast of rain? Let’s hope so.

It’s Monday morning as I’m typing this, because I’m so on the ball as you know. And the sound of my typing is accompanied by the pitter patter of the rain outside.

Here’s some stuff we did over the weekend…

We had some amazing pizza and pasta at Doppio Zero in Mountain View. Loved the proper thin-crust pizza especially the Doppio Zero (the one in front) with prosciutto, arugula and burrata. But the spaghetti Bottarga was the star. Perfectly cooked, with a nice level of spiciness! And also we took home some pretty cakes from Alexander’s Patisserie.

Currently…

Reading:

I’m really enjoying both of these books. I like the writing styles. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self is a collection of short stories. Lola is the tale of a woman who runs a South Central LA gang that’s caught up in a war between two drug cartels.

Watching:

I tried watching an episode of Chicago Med but I’m not sure if I really am into it. I do like that new medical show The Resident but it’s quite intense so I don’t know if I am enjoying the watching of it all that much!

Listening:

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms Pat – Patricia Williams

I hadn’t actually heard of the comedienne Ms Pat before this book, but

Eating:

One of these pretty things from Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View

Drinking:

PG Tips with milk

Last week:

I read:

Ice – Anna Kavan
Buffy Omnibus Vol 5 – Joss Whedon (Series Creator), Christopher Golden, Tom Fassbender, Jim Pascoe, Jane Espenson, Doug Petrie, Chris Boal, Cliff Richards (Artist)
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body – Roxane Gay
Dear Cyborgs – Eugene Lim

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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

Weekend Cooking: How to hotpot

Hotpot has become a family favourite. We don’t really do hotpot that much in Singapore where it is far too hot for hotpot but the cool winters of California are great for it.

So it has become our own little tradition to do hotpot for Chinese New Year Eve (known as reunion dinner or tuanyuanfan 团圆饭) and we do hotpot on Thanksgiving too.

Hotpot is an easy meal for a crowd, provided you have enough utensils and hotpots!

And you preferably need to have access to an Asian supermarket. But if there’s none nearby, you can make do with some other ingredients.

Equipment

We use a portable gas stove and this fun dual hotpot. Those ladles with little holes in them are great for picking out just your ingredients. And we set out regular soup ladles too. Extra long chopsticks are for cooking the meat with.

But here are my typical hotpot ingredients.

Broth

I make two broths in our dual hotpot. One is a vegetable stock made with carrots, celery and whatever else I might have like corn if it’s fresh. And the other is an instant one with dashi powder (or you could make a dashi stock with bonito flakes and konbu) and miso.

Vegetables

I usually buy Napa cabbage and chop that up. Bokchoy would be great too. A more traditional leafy vegetable is tongho but it’s slightly bitter. This year I also added baby spinach that I had in my fridge.

We love the little bunashimeiji (beech mushrooms). There’s also shiitake and king trumpet mushrooms, which are all found at my local Asian supermarket.

Meat

While I do most of the hotpot shopping at the Chinese or Vietnamese supermarkets, we prefer the meat from Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa. It’s a bit of a drive but it’s definitely so much more flavourful and tender. Asian supermarkets usually have thinly sliced meat (beef or pork) for hotpot. But you could always buy a nice piece of meat, freeze it for a bit to firm it up, then slice it really thin yourself.

Seafood

Our favourites are fish tofu, fishballs and cuttlefish balls. They’re springy and fun to eat and cook really quickly. My husband and kids like imitation crabsticks which need just like 30 seconds to warm up in the broth.

Other ingredients may include dumplings, tofu puffs, vermicelli or udon, konyaku, quail eggs and more.

Don’t forget your dipping sauces like peanut sauce, chili sauce or sesame sauce. We also like the Taiwanese shacha sauce which is made from garlic, shallots, chilis, dried shrimp.

Get that gas stove going, the broth boiling, then pick your favourite foods and dunk them in! Happy hotpot-ing.

 

weekendcooking

Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy

This book was just an absolute delight to read.

Can I leave it at that? And then, you know, you can go run out to your library or bookstore or open your Amazon app and just get this book already?

Not enough?? Really…

Ok then. It has cats.

A clan of cats living in a neighbourhood in Delhi. There is Miao, a wise Siamese; the warriors Katar and Hulo; Beraal the queen; the kitten Southpaw and many more. And their lives are interrupted by a young kitten with amazing powers, she who is able to send out her thoughts and feelings so powerfully that it disrupts and unsettles any animal who senses it.

And of course cats can link up with each other. Because of course cats can do that.

“Mews reached only so far; scents and whisker transmissions formed an invisible, strong web around their clan of colony and dargah cats. But linking allowed them only to listen to each other. A true sending, where the Sender’s fur seemed to brush by the listener, its words and scents touching the listener’s whiskers, was rare.”

I don’t have a cat. I have two kids and I figure that’s enough for me to handle. But I am more of a cat person than a dog person. I like dogs too (well most dogs at least) but there’s something about cats. I don’t think you need to be a cat lover to read this book but it certainly would appeal to cat lovers!

Also, good news, there is a sequel and it’s called The Hundred Names of Darkness. 

It’s Monday and it’s been ages since I’ve written a post!

With Chinese New Year approaching I’ve been busy cleaning the house! I feel like I’ve been very lackadaisical about the new year this time. Usually I’ll have baked cookies by now. And put up decorations. But nope nothing yet. But at least the spring cleaning is done – the new year lasts for 15 days and technically you’re not supposed to sweep and clean during the 15 days as you don’t want to sweep the luck away!

Celebrating the new year here is so different from in Singapore. A large part is because it’s not a public holiday but also there are no relatives for us to visit! But we will do what we can, starting with a reunion dinner hotpot on the eve, which is Thursday.

Currently…

Reading:

 

Watching:

This is Us.

So I only started watching this a few weeks ago because for me at first it was all, ugh, Mandy Moore? But I was surprised by how good she was at this character. And man the number of tissues that this series requires…

I know that this series is about the Big Three and their parents, but I LOVE every single scene in which Beth stars (especially when she had that imaginary cigarette moment). Also, see The 15 Greatest Beth Pearson moments on Vulture

Listening:

Hunger by Roxane Gay.

Eating:

Oreos.

Drinking:

Coffee

Cooking:

I am crap at meal planning. So here’s in reality what happens every week. We tend to either eat out or do takeout on weekends, because I really don’t relish cooking on Saturdays. Sometimes on Sundays I get this burst of energy from somewhere and decide to make tomato soup or pizza. Something that I really want to eat, and I know that I can make better than store-bought stuff.

Anyway, so on Mondays and Tuesdays we tend to dine on weekend leftovers, mostly because the kids have activities after school – swimming on Monday, tennis on Tuesday. And by the time we get home, shower, unpack the school bag, do some homework etc, it’s kinda late, so leftovers are our mainstay. But sometimes there just aren’t much leftovers, so that’s fine too, I can do a quick dumpling noodle soup (we always have frozen dumplings and dried noodles and vegetable stock – just toss in some spinach or bok choy and there’s dinner).

Wednesdays are minimum days at the elementary school so I cook something that’s more involved like pork chops, rice and vegetables. And on Thursdays I cook something that’s quick, like fried noodles or an easy pasta with chicken and spinach, or if I can manage it, I make a pasta in the morning and then bake it off after we come back from piano class. And Thursday’s leftovers work for Friday dinners. So that tends to be our week of dinners.

Last week:

I read:

Shattered Warrior – Sharon Shinn


Sweet Tooth book one – Jeff Lemire


The Wildings – Nilanjana Roy

 

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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 and we had a lazy stay at home weekend

It was one of those weekends where nothing much happened and that was ok. My kids are both still recovering from a cough and staying at home and having a rest is just what they needed.

My favourite picture from last week is definitely this one. I was grabbing some books from the holds shelves and I turn around to find the 4yo making himself comfy (if that’s possible) on a step stool with a picture book about solar systems.

Currently…

Reading:

Watching:

The Resident (❤️Matt Czuchry)

Listening:< strong>< strong>Eating:<<
me homemade baguette for breakfast

Drinking:<<
rkshire Gold with milk

Cooking:<<
concrete plans of yet but I was just watching ep 8 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and she was eating mac and cheese and I really want to eat some now…

Last week:

I read:< strong>< strong>I posted:badgeIt’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