It’s Monday (May 11, 2020)

 

Hello and happy Monday. Hope you all had a good weekend! I had a nice Mother’s Day on Sunday, with a big sushi feast for dinner.

A little Mother’s Day present to myself was that I got to pick up some plants I had ordered from our local ecology centre – I got some sage, thyme, a mini bell pepper, a tomato plant, and hyssop anise.

And unfortunately I can’t do much in the garden for the next few days. I seem to have done something to my knee and it’s been hurting when walking around and if it’s bent for too long.

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

The Three Body Problem – Liu Cixin
America is Not the Heart – Elaine Castillo
 

Watching:

Dead to Me season 2

Listening:

 

Eating:

For breakfast this morning, toast with butter

 

Drinking:

Tea

Cooking:

With my grocery delivery last week, I can make some spaghetti carbonara with bacon. I had been trying to get my hands on Parmesan for a while and finally got it!

My kids aren’t fans of carbonara though but too bad. We are not the kind of family with different meals for kids and adults, unless I am cooking something specifically spicy, especially with a premade paste like laksa. I sometimes sneak in chili flakes into my pasta in an attempt to get the kids to be able to eat spicy food (still not working).

Last week:

I read:

This Could Be Home – Pico Iyer
The Nine – Tracy Townsend

I posted:

Very veggie risotto #WeekendCooking

Library Loot (May 6 to 12)

 

badge
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

 

Very veggie risotto #WeekendCooking

 

Hi! It’s the weekend again, and I have missed out on posting these Weekend Cooking ones for a bit. So this is a kind of a round up on what we’ve been cooking and eating over the past couple of weeks.

 

One of our local ramen places opened up again last weekend and we were quick to place our order – when my husband went in to pick up, he said the owner looked really happy.

And they had my kids’ favourite – the lychee slush with lychee jelly. I later tried some of that with a shot of gin – delicious!

Another takeout dish that’s becoming a favourite of ours is Indian-style pizza. The last time we tried a tikka paneer one (which has a spicy garlic sauce, lots of coriander, peppers, onions and chilli, along with the paneer). And this time we did a half-tikka paneer and a half-malai chicken. The malai sauce is a kind of curry sauce so it had more spices in it. And both were really tasty. We also ordered a half-combination, half-Hawaiian for the kids. Both the husband and I preferred the Indian-style pizzas.

In terms of cooking, here’s what we recently made.

My kids’ favourite – Japanese curry. I made it with chicken, cabbage, carrots, and broccoli stems.

The kids made a brownie, pretty much by themselves. I helped chop the chocolate, put things in and take them out of the microwave and the oven, but the rest was on them. They declared it the best brownie ever.

I made my usual tangzhong bread – one Hokkaido milk bread and one raisin bread. I wrote about the tangzhong method in a previous post. 

A very veggie risotto – so I have been hesitating about making risotto recently as I haven’t managed to get my hands on Parmesan! And on all previous risotto cooks, I have always used Parmesan. So I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea, Parmesan-free risotto. But I had this craving for it. And we had a big box of mushrooms to eat up, and I decided to mix it up and add more vegetables with a lot of broccoli and carrots too.

I parboiled the broccoli (chopped into small pieces) and carrots in the stock that was simmering on the stove, removing them after a few minutes so it didn’t overcook. And while that was happening, I panfried the sliced mushrooms. Then removed them. After that, I continued with the risotto in the usual risotto fashion – adding in some chopped shallots, garlic, before adding the risotto to the pot. I didn’t have white wine (horrors) but I did have gin. Haha, so I tried adding in a bit of gin, not sure if that did anything to it. The stock I used was a Better than Bouillon chicken stock. And in the end, instead of the Parmesan, I added in some small torn-up pieces of fresh Mozzarella that I did have. It was delicious!

The risotto was served with Asian-style bone-in pork chops (marinated in black bean sauce, honey, soy sauce, five-spice powder, minced garlic, ginger, and shallots).

 

 

 

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

Library Loot (May 6 to 12)

badge-4Library 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.

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s Library Loot!

Claire has the link-up this week, so please head over to post your link-up, or if you’d like, share in the comments here.

 

This was spotted while browsing the library’s ebook catalogue, and I had this moment of hmm, did I know that this book exists? I decided to download it anyway, because it’s Iyer.

This Could Be Home – Pico Iyer

As Singapore marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the British and an iconic hotel unveils a dazzling new design, best-selling author Pico Iyer explores how both can offer a fresh model for our world of crossing cultures. Drawing upon numerous stays in Raffles Hotel over thirty-five years and the fast-ascending city around it, this lifelong “global soul” finds new ways of considering not just yesterday, but tomorrow.

What might Somerset Maugham write if he were watching East and West mingling around the Palm Court tonight? Why do writers gravitate towards the foreign counter-homes that are hotels? And how have Singapore and its iconic, intimate white-stucco monument evolved to meet the needs of a shifting world? Offering a seasoned observer’s meditations on multicultures everywhere, Iyer—whom Outside magazine calls “arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer”—draws the curtains on a personal, thoughtful and surprising look at places we too often take for granted.

 

 

 

It’s Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the US every May, and what better than this book set both in the US and the Philippines.

America is Not the Heart – Elaine Castillo

How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero De Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she’s already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about the first and second. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to scream with hurt at the steering wheel of the car she drives to collect her from school, and only Rosalyn, the fierce but open-hearted beautician, has any hope of bringing Hero back from the dead.

 

Last, a new audiobook.

Frankly in Love – David Yoon

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

It’s Monday (May 4, 2020)

 

Oops I managed to see the calendar wrongly and thought May 2 was Monday. The days seem to pass by so differently these days and I feel like I get mixed up even more.

I’m at a bit of a loss of what to update this week. Let’s see….

The kids’ teachers had Thursday and Friday to do some distance learning education with the rest of the school district. So they didn’t assign much work, but had the kids mostly catch up on other stuff outstanding or upcoming projects and presentations. Instead we did lots of reading, some science online stuff on Brainpop and Mystery Science and did lots of exercise like walking, biking, and running around the backyard with water guns. They had a blast.

Let’s see what else…they also made a brownie together. They did pretty much all the work – I helped with the chopping of the chocolate, taking things in and out of the microwave and the oven.

 

Other things eaten this week…

Japanese curry – the meal that keeps on going. I made one big pot with chicken, carrots, broccoli stems, and cabbage. The four of us ate it for two dinners, and there was still enough for lunch for the husband and myself the third day. There wasn’t enough rice for myself though so I cooked some instant noodles and poured the curry on top.

Our local ramen place was open again this weekend and we were happy to do some takeout from there. The kids love the lychee slush too and I discovered it could be quite yummy with some gin! 🙂

 

 

 

Currently…

 

Reading:

 

The Nine – Tracy Townsend

 

 

Watching:

 

Nadiya’s Time to Eat on Netflix

I watched the first episode before lunch and thought, hey that’s what I can make for lunch. She beats up some eggs, pours it into a frying pan, puts on some sliced mushrooms, then places on top a tortilla which has been slathered with some tomato paste on one side. Press the tortilla onto the omelette, cook for 30 seconds then flip over and cook on the tortilla side. Roll it up. I didn’t have mushrooms but I had cheese and spring onions and thought, hey that makes for a different kind of tortilla lunch. It was quick and easy. I’ll try it next time with mushrooms, maybe ham. Definitely the cheese too.

Listening:

Frankly in Love – David Yoon

 

Eating:

I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon so I just had the takeout from our local ramen place. I like their chicken katsu bowl.

Drinking:

Lychee slush with some gin in it

Cooking:

Japchae or Korean-style sweet potato noodles

Some thing with Mahi-mahi. I happened to get some frozen mahi-mahi in our last delivery. Not sure what to cook with it yet.

Maybe risotto, if I can find some parmesan!

Last week:

I read:

 

Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol 1  – Joe Kelly
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong
Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol 2  – Scott Aukern
The Master Chocolatier Vol 1 – Benedicte Goudon
Hungry Hearts – Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond (eds)
Undercover Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams

I posted:

Diverse YA and MG books I wish I had read as a tween #TopTenTuesday

Library Loot (April 29 – May 5)

#BookBeginnings #Friday56

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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

 

#BookBeginnings #Friday56

 

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

 

Beginning:

The monster has been here. I can smell him.

 

56:

 

She stops. Keeps her eyes on the horizon. “Everyone mourns different,” she says quietly, her voice thick with compassion. “When I lost my Rick, people thought I should wail and tear my hair out. But I didn’t even cry, not once. I poured myself into my work, my kids. I let purpose eat up all those tears instead.” She sighs, heavy with memory. “But when I lost my baby, my firstborn, Cletus, Id like to cry enough to flood the whole of Dinetah, I was wrung out so bad.” She wipes at her brow with her rag. “Don’t think I’ll ever stop crying for that child.”

 

Fridays are for Book Beginnings on Rose City Reader, Friday 56 on Freda’s Voice

 

 

 

Library Loot (April 29 – May 5)

badge-4Library 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! How is your week going? Did you borrow any ebooks or audiobooks this week? Share it with us in the link-up or comment below!

 

This week I have some speculative fiction ebooks borrowed. All of these are new-to-me writers, which I’m always excited about. Have you read any of these?

The Nine (Thieves of Fate #1) – Tracy Townsend

In the dark streets of Corma exists a book that writes itself, a book that some would kill for…

Black market courier Rowena Downshire is just trying to pay her mother’s freedom from debtor’s prison when an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares. Rowena escapes with her life, but the strange book she was ordered to deliver is stolen.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, and when Rowena shows up on his doorstep, frightened and empty-handed, he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Across town, Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating the stolen book may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon realizes the book may be a fabled text written by the Creator Himself, tracking the nine human subjects of His Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

Rowena and her companions become the target of conspirators who seek to use the book for their own ends. But how can this unlikely team be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen when the book reveals a secret no human was meant to know?

The Fall (Thieves of Fate #2) – Tracy Townsend 

An apothecary clerk and her ex-mercenary allies travel across the world to discover a computing engine that leads to secrets she wasn’t meant to know–secrets that could destroy humanity. Eight months ago, Rowena Downshire was a half-starved black market courier darting through the shadows of Corma’s underside. Today, she’s a (mostly) respectable clerk in the Alchemist’s infamous apothecary shop, the Stone Scales, and certainly the last girl one would think qualified to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders a second time. Looks can be deceiving. When Anselm Meteron and the Alchemist receive an invitation to an old acquaintance’s ball–the Greatduke who financed their final, disastrous mercenary mission fourteen years earlier–they’re expecting blackmail, graft, or veiled threats related to the plot to steal the secrets of the Creator’s Grand Experiment. They aren’t expecting a job offer they can’t refuse or a trip halfway across the world to rendezvous with the scholar whose research threw their lives into tumult: the Reverend Doctor Phillip Chalmers. Escorting Chalmers to the Grand Library of Nippon with her mismatched mercenary family is just a grand adventure to Rowena until she discovers a powerful algebraic engine called the Aggregator. The Aggregator leads Rowena to questions about the Grand Experiment she was never meant to ask and answers she cannot be allowed to possess. With her reunited friends, Rowena must find a way to use the truths hidden in the Grand Library to disarm those who would hunt down the nine subjects of the Creator’s Grand Experiment, threatening to close the book on this world.

 

The Three-Body Problem – Liu Cixin

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

 

The Master Chocolatier – Chetville (Illustrator), Bénédicte Gourdon, Éric Corbeyran

Alex Carret is a talented young Brussels chocolatier whose life takes a drastic turn when he quits his job and agrees to partner with a friend of a friend named Ben. He’s a little wary of him at first, but when Ben comes up with a business plan, a space, a brilliant branding idea, and a 100,000-euro loan, Alex can’t resist the temptation of seeing his lifelong dream come true. Soon he and his team are selecting the finest chocolate from countries around the world and throwing a launch party, which is a smash success. But will that put them in the crosshairs of other local power brokers?

 

What did you get from your library this week?

Diverse YA and MG books I wish I had read as a tween #TopTenTuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

 

 Books I Wish I Had Read As a Child

 

I think I’m going to alter this slightly to be more of a Books I Wish I Had Read as a Tween.

I love how diverse Middle-Grade and Young Adult fiction is these days. And how I wish I could have had these books around when I was a kid. Living in majority Chinese-ethnicity Singapore, I didn’t fe

I definitely would have loved these books:

 

Unfortunately I only have posted about 3 of these. But I really liked all of them!

Stargazing by Jen Wang (my review)

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (my review)

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo (my review)

 

 

 


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.