It’s Monday (January 23, 2023)

Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Rabbit! Following our usual tradition, before the New Year, we spring cleaned, decorated the house a little bit, even managed to donate some old clothes to help a fundraiser at a local high school.

I also made some cookies previously, but wanted to make some huat kueh or fa gao 发糕. It’s supposed to bring fortune and is a delicious light steamed cupcake of sorts. I made a version with pandan and coconut.

For our reunion dinner or tuan yuan fan on the eve, we had hotpot
Thinly sliced meats are a must for hotpot!
A recent love of mine is mixing regular jasmine rice with some Korean mixed grains. I bought this packet at an Asian supermarket. It contains brown rice, sweet brown rice, barley, wild sweet rice, mung bean, millet, glutinous millet, green peas. Per some online recipes, I soak the grains for a bit before adding it to the washed jasmine rice. Then I let my rice cooker do the work. The first time, I tried it on a brown rice setting but that seemed to overcook it. A regular rice setting does much better.

Last Friday evening, while at the Japanese supermarket to pick up some thinly sliced meats for hotpot, we discovered that their sushi and cooked food is 20% off in the evenings. The husband grabbed probably what was a bit too much sushi, and we had a nice dinner out of it.

The mochi doughnuts were also discounted.

Currently…

Reading:

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida – Shehan Karunatilaka

Watching:

Single’s Inferno on Netflix

Listening:

I’m glad my mom died – Jennette McCurdy

Eating and Drinking:

A homemade peanut cookie and coffee

Cooking:

We still have some hotpot broth leftover, so might warm that up with some extra fish tofu and vegetables. Eat it with rice. Later this week, maybe some mushroom pasta as I have extra mushrooms.

Last week:

I read:

Winter in Sokcho – Elisa Shua Dusapin

Legends & Lattes – Travis Baldree

Ducks – Kate Beaton

A Man and His Cat vol 2 – Umi Sakurai

I posted:

Winter In Sokcho

Library Loot (January 18 to 24)

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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 (January 16, 2023)

Hey, happy Monday to you!

Some things last week:

Another very rainy week. I think we only had one day where there was no rain. It rained so hard last night that I kept waking up!

Rainy days are good for baking, and since the Lunar New Year is coming up on Sunday, I decided to make some peanut cookies (the ones on the left) and some pork floss and sesame cookies. Both these cookies are the melt-in-your-mouth type of cookie, so they’re pretty much bite-sized.
Rainy days also mean soupy noodle cravings. We went to have Taiwanese beef noodles, as well as xiaolongbao. Unfortunately, there were a couple of customers in the restaurant who were coughing away! So we ate quickly!

Currently…

Reading:

Farm City – Novella Carpenter

Watching:

Last night, watched the Penguins documentary on Disney Plus with the kids. It was really funny.

Listening:

Started listening to Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon

Eating and Drinking:

I had homemade sourdough toast and a big mug of coffee

Cooking:

The husband has asked if I could make a pandan cake as I haven’t made one in a while. It’s a light chiffon cake flavoured with extract from pandan leaves (something grown in Southeast Asia), and coconut milk. Of course lots of eggs too since it’s a chiffon cake.

Last week:

I read:

Booked on a Feeling – Jayci Lee

A Man and His Cat – Umi Sakurai

I posted:

Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee

3 manga series

Library Loot (January 11 to 17)

Notes On Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach

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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 (January 9, 2022)

Some things last week:

The kids are finally back at school. They had a nice two week winter break, where we didn’t travel, and instead spent time at home. And the weather last week was not the greatest. Luckily, we didn’t have it as bad as places on the coast, like the beach towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola – you can see some of the damage in this news article.

Besides hanging out at home and playing video games and board games, reading books, and watching movies (we watched all the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring movies, the kids’ first time), the kids also helped me with some cooking and baking.

We made pizza
The kids wanted breakfast burritos
On the day it didn’t rain, we went out for some seafood. Great calamari!
And after being bored at home on yet another rainy day, we drove out to a Barnes & Noble (there isn’t one in our town). The kids discovered that they have a pretty big manga and comic collection!

Portofino bag (pattern)

Long summer crochet duster (pattern), but I don’t think I’ll make it duster length.

Currently…

Reading:

I was Born for This – Alice Oseman

Booked on a Feeling – Jayci Lee

Cult X – Fuminori Nakamura

Watching:

I’m still watching West Wing!

Listening:

I’ve just finished Hooked by Sutton Foster and am looking for a new audiobook.

Eating and Drinking:

Banana bread and coffee

Cooking:

We went to a relatively new Korean supermarket that opened in our city. It doesn’t have as huge a variety as the popular Korean supermarket chain, HMart, but it was not too bad. HMart after all is a bit of a drive from us, so it’s nice to have this just 10 minutes away.

Last week:

I read:

The Fox and the Little Tanuki vol 1 – Mi Tagawa

The Violin Conspiracy – Brendan Slocumb

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison

I posted:

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Pozole and Tortillas for a California Missions project #WeekendCooking

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Library Loot (January 4 to 10, 2023)

Favorite Reads of 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

It’s Monday (January 2, 2023)

Happy new year! I hope that this year will be a wonderful one, a healthy and safe one, one filled with delicious eats and awesome reads.

Some things last week:

Our New Year’s Eve dinner was Korean BBQ at home. We had pork belly, beef, three kinds of mushrooms, zucchini, and more.

In California, fourth graders (at least those in public schools) have to do a research project on the California missions. I mentioned last week that we went to visit the Santa Clara Mission, which is the mission that my 9yo was assigned. Coincidentally, his older brother had also been assigned the same mission! His brother had chosen to construct a diorama of the Mission and it was really quite a pain to do. So I gently nudged the 9yo towards something else. Luckily he was happy to do the cookbook, which is research the food eaten at the Missions, and write a cookbook with at least two recipes. I’ll write up a proper post on it later this week, but here’s a photo of the Pozole rojo we made.
We’ve been hit with rain, rain, and more rain over the past week. You may have read about closures of some major highways due to flooding. The Oakland zoo has to be closed due to a major sinkhole at their entrance! Luckily, we were fine here, just a lot of rain. Anyway, after being tired of staying at home, we took the kids out to lunch at a sushi conveyor belt eatery, then to the Barnes and Noble – there isn’t a big bookstore in our city, so we had to drive out to this one. It’s supposed to rain more this week too!
Rain = hotpot weather! So since we were already at the Korean supermarket to pick up some meat, might as well get thinly sliced pork and beef, and all the mushrooms and vegetables for hotpot. This time, tried different fish balls and fish tofu at HMart. Delicious!
Last week was our wedding anniversary, so we went out to this lovely Japanese restaurant. Their sashimi was fresh and delicious. I also really enjoyed the drinks we had. I had ordered a mango ginger for the kids, this is a ginger beer, mango puree, shiso leaf concoction. But they said it was too gingery, so I ended up drinking most of it. It was very refreshing!

Currently…

Reading:

Booked on a Feeling – Jayci Lee

Watching:

Going to watch Glass Onion tonight on Netflix

Listening:

Hooked by Sutton Foster

Eating and Drinking:

I made cream tea scones (recipe from King Arthur) last week to use up the heavy cream I had leftover from the Christmas cake. So I’m having one now with some tea.

Cooking:

We still have the Pozole leftovers from last night, so maybe I won’t have to cook tonight. Maybe we will make some shepherds pie tomorrow, using turkey instead of beef.

Last week:

I read:

Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison

I posted:

Library Loot (December 28 to January 3)

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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 (December 26)

Ok so it’s Tuesday now. I forgot it was Monday yesterday! All those celebratory days just threw me off. I hope you had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it, and if you are on vacation, hope it’s been a lovely one. We are having a rather rainy week, with rain forecasted for most of the week. Otherwise, we haven’t really been affected by the horrendous weather that most of the country has been seeing. Hope you are warm and safe wherever you live.

Some things last week:

We usually do a big Christmas Eve dinner, and even when it’s just the four of us, I still cook a small ham and all the sides that go along with it. We had pineapple and honey glazed ham with a pineapple sauce, hasselback potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts. I also made a bûche de Noel with meringue mushrooms.

Made a Minecraft axolotl and creeper for the kids

Also, before Christmas, we tried out a newish Korean-Chinese eatery. I liked the jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup). The kids say their jjajangmyeon was good too.
We took a sunset walk along the marshlands, which is a wildlife refuge.
And had also visited the Mission Santa Clara. Fourth graders in Santa Clara do a project on the California Missions. Coincidentally, the 9yo was assigned the same mission as his older brother was. And it’s only about 20 minutes drive from us, so we went to take some photos for his report.

Currently…

Reading:

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

Watching:

Run BTS. This is a variety show of sorts that stars, well, BTS. They’ve been doing it for years but it was only recently uploaded onto Youtube (previously it was on Vlive).

Listening:

Hooked by Sutton Foster

Eating and Drinking:

A slice of Yule log cake and tea.

Cooking:

Tonight, we’re having hotpot, it’s just the right weather for it. Yesterday, we had picked up some thinly sliced beef and pork from the Asian supermarket. Also, some bokchoy, cabbage, beech and oyster mushrooms.

Last week:

I read:

Nuclear Family- Joseph Han

Saha – Cho Nam-Joo

I posted:

Joan is Okay by Weike Wang

Library Loot (December 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 (December 19, 2022)

Some things last week:

I did all the baking of the Christmas cookies and gave them out to friends and neighbours. You can read more about the different cookies I made here (including one that’s spicy, as in spicy hot).
We had breakfast for dinner last night, at a local diner that’s been around for ages.
I’m making a small amigurumi character each for the boys’ stocking stuffers. Here’s a Minecraft axolotl for the younger one. The older one gets a Minecraft creeper but I haven’t finished sewing all the parts yet! That’s the worst part of amigurumi for me, all that sewing :p

Currently…

Reading:

Dead-end memories – Banana Yoshimoto (pictured here with a Nespresso and a homemade lemon biscotti)

Watching:

The West Wing

Listening:

I still haven’t downloaded a new audiobook yet! Anything to recommend?

Eating and Drinking:

Well, that biscotti and coffee right there in that photo!

Cooking:

I’d like to make some Singapore-style chicken rice this week. Also, later today, probably a cauliflower and sausage mac and cheese.

Last week:

I read:

Joan Is Okay – Weike Wang

One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle

I posted:

Christmas cookies #amonthoffaves #weekendcooking

Reading Challenges and Goals Check-In #amonthoffaves

Library Loot (December 14 to December 20)

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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 (December 12, 2022)

This morning, my 9-year-old looked at the calendar and said, yay it’s Christmas next week. And my first thought was, (insert inappropriate word here), already?

Why does it feel like Thanksgiving just ended and yet Christmas is already upon us? Are you ready for Christmas? We’ve got our tree and decorations up, but I’m still scrounging around for presents 😛

Some things last week:

It was a very rainy weekend. I love rain and was so glad to see it. But that did mean that we had a stay-home weekend, except for the older son whose band class was still on.

So I used the time to make some more cookies. I’ll put up a proper post on that soon, but meanwhile here’s one “before” photo.

During a break from the rain, the husband went out to get Korean food. Among other things, we had bulgogi kimbap and kimchi budaejjigae (army stew)

Currently…

Reading:

Nuclear Family – Joseph Han

Watching:

We finished watching the last of the Hobbit movies with the kids, and they actually really enjoyed it, although the older one is always saying, “oh I don’t like to watch movies”.

Listening:

I finished Simu Liu’s We Were Dreamers, and haven’t found a new audiobook yet. Meanwhile, I’m going to recommend RM’s new album, Indigo.

Eating and Drinking:

I just had an especially wonky end-piece of the matcha checkerboard cookies. And a Nespresso.

Cooking:

I feel like making some mac and cheese this week.

Last week:

I read:

The Dark Matter of Mona Starr – Laura Lee Gulledge

We Were Dreamers – Simu Liu (audiobook)

The Dead Romantics – Ashley Poston

I posted:
(this is some kind of record for the year, posting so much like this)

Underrated Books That Deserve More Buzz #amonthoffaves

Hunt the Stars – Jessie Mihalik

Leech by Hiron Ennes

Popular Books Worth the Hype (or not) #amonthoffaves

Library Loot (December 7 to 13)

Winter Pasture by Li Juan

Moments of 2022 #amonthoffaves

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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 (December 5, 2022)

Some things last week:

We had a very rainy Saturday where it rained pretty much all day. It was a good day to make some Christmas cookies. Usually I make some earlier in the month to send to the husband’s mentor in Seattle. These are almond cookies (I used recipe one from this blog).

Picked up some Indian-style pizza for lunch

We decided to try a recently opened Japanese restaurant. I had the chirashi bowl which was quite good, although it was the cheaper one that I ordered.
And some rolls too.
A simple dinner last week with steamed egg with ground pork, stirred vegetables, cabbage and meatball soup.
Carbonara (I added the bacon to mine later), oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, and zucchini panko-crusted “fries”
Made an amigurumi purple whale ornament!

Also, it’s Spotify Wrapped time!

Currently…

Reading:

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy – Jamie Ford

Watching:

The Crown

Listening:

We Were Dreamers – Simu Liu

Eating and Drinking:

Nespresso and an almond cookie

Cooking:

Japchae maybe?

My kids were talking about quiche so I might make one. Maybe a spinach and mushroom quiche?

Last week:

I read:

Seoulmates – Susan Lee (funny enough, it’s the second Seoulmates title I’ve read this year).

Remarkably Bright Creatures – Shelby Van Pelt

Savor – Fatima Ali

I posted:

Eating Singapore 2022

Library Loot (November 30 to December 6)

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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 (November 28, 2022)

We are heading into December soon! I don’t quite feel ready yet….! How about you?

Some things last week:

It was Thanksgiving last Thursday and the kids were off school for the week. In last week’s post, I had mentioned that my 11yo went for a 3 day 2 night science camp in the mountains. He had a blast and loved all the nature stuff that they learnt. They took a night hike, had a campfire, caught aquatic bugs in the river, did a ropes course, and touched a snake. My younger son was especially envious about that part 🙂

On Thanksgiving, we did our usual hotpot. We bought meat from the Japanese supermarket on the way back from picking up the kid from camp. And the rest of the vegetables and three types of mushrooms were ordered from Weee, the online grocer that specialises in Asian goods. The mushrooms (enoki, beech, oyster) from Weee somehow always end up being cheaper than getting it from the Asian supermarket.

The kids helped make a brownie cheesecake (recipe from King Arthur). My younger boy loves cheesecake but no one else does (I quite like Japanese cheesecake though!), so this was a kind of compromise

We also tried a new-to-us ramen place, I had the crab ramen. Lots of fresh crab!
And also ate at the kids’ favourite Taiwanese beef noodle place, which also has good xiaolongbao.

Last night, we had Indian food. This is paneer butter masala and dal makhani with garlic naan.

Currently…

Reading:

The Many Daughters of Afong May – Jamie Ford (in case you’re wondering about the picture, I was just comparing how huge this cabbage was to that hardcover. It was a 3.5 kg (7.7 pound) cabbage although the order had stated that the cabbage would be about 2.5 to 3.2 pounds 😛

Savor – Fatima Ali

Remarkably Bright Creatures – Shelby Van Pelt

Watching:

The Crown

Listening:

Eating and Drinking:

Right now, just an oolong tea. I had sourdough toast with butter for breakfast.

Cooking:

Maybe a mushroom Alfredo as I still have some mushrooms to cook up. It will be a slightly chilly week so I wouldn’t mind some soup too. Maybe tomato soup.

Last week:

I read:

Below Zero – Ali Hazelwood

Hunt the Stars – Jessie Mihalik

I posted:

#WeekendCooking Spam Egg Rice Sandwich

Library Loot (November 23 to 29)

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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 (November 21, 2022)

Happy Monday! The kids are off school this week as it’s Thanksgiving break. This morning, we dropped my older son at a two-night science camp in the mountains. It’s about an hour’s drive from us through some very windy roads. But he was super excited to hang out with his friends. They’re going to do a night hike tomorrow and hopefully lots of other fun stuff. My younger one was sad that his big brother is going to be away though!

Some things last week:

Over the weekend, we picked up takeout from our favourite Singapore/Malaysia eatery. There’s beef rendang on top, a red vegetable curry and a green chicken curry, satay chicken cutlets, and horfun (rice noodles with a soupy gravy).
I’ve finally been feeling better enough to take walks outside without coughing too much. So I had to take some photos of the lovely colours around the neighbourhood.

I made granola with coconut chips, banana chips, raisins, and sliced almonds.

Currently…

Reading:

Made waffles for Sunday breakfast. And this is one of my current reads – The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Watching:

White Lotus Season 2

Listening:

Buzz, Sting, Bite – Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

Eating and Drinking:

Granola with yogurt.

Cooking:

The kid wants to make a spam egg sushi sandwich tomorrow. So we will see how that goes!

Last week:

I read:

Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight – Riku Onda

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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