LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

OLDEST US MALL BLENDS WITH 225 SQ FT MICRO LOFTS

Ever since I stumbled upon Tiny Houses Movement, I have been watching a lot of these documentaries online about people living in tiny spaces. I think all of us have very important lessons to learn here. What do we really need and how efficient we can actually make our lives to be. It makes me think what a hoarder I am and I feel like I am bound by material and I do not have freedom.

SONG OF THE DAY : SAM COOKE'S SUGAR DUMPLING


I have been listening to Monica Eng and Louisa Chu in Chewing the Fat Podcast. They are really funny and they are home cook and chef and have written for the culinary scene. I am on the podcasts on dumplings and they have played this song a few times. I love it. Thought I will share it.

TINY HOUSES' POLYMATH : THINKER, LYRIST, CARPENTER, CARTOONIST

TINY TEXAS HOUSES' "WILLY WONKA" ON MAKING MAGIC REUSING WOOD

Gosh! This guy is all muscle! Matthew McConaughey could play him.

WE THE TINY HOUSE PEOPLE

TALL LAW STUDENT, TINY HOUSE

This is an inspiration.

SODA BREAD USING CITRIC ACID?

My friend Neil and I play this game of 'Ready Steady Cook'. It is a cooking show in the UK and the participants buy ingredients that they like from the supermarkets and the chefs on the show would cook a 3 course meal for them, usually about 5 dishes on the average. So Neil travels a lot and I have to be busy in the kitchen. So we feed off each other and I would cook him some home cooked food when we meet. It is a very civilise thing to do and much more enjoyable than dining in restaurants. I do find the dining experience in Singapore becoming very pretentious. So this activity of talking whilst cooking and then enjoying the food after is so down to earth for me.

But of course I am not as quick as the chefs on the show and I usually need a couple of hours to make stuff. Come on, I am not going to cook Neil a tomato basil pasta dish right? I could but that would take less than 20 minutes and the whole idea was to cook up a feast.

Just in case you are wondering what was cooked up that evening. We can tomato and garlic flatbread, soda bread with tomato salsa, mushroom risotto and pan fried salmon in 5 spice.

MY FIRST SODA BREAD
So back to the topic of soda bread. I have never made soda breads. I was going to make a yeast rise bread but Neil confirmed the dinner a bit late and I didn't have time for it to rise. So I tried soda bread for the first time and it is so much easier than my yeast bread recipe.

4 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2tsp cider vinegar [I used white wine vinegar] or 1/2 tsp of citric powder

(1 tsp of citric acid powder to make 4 tbsp of lemon juice substitute)

Bake in the (pre-heated) oven for 15 minutes at 250C, then turn down to 200C for 30 minutes until cooked.

Note: Soda breads are best eaten on the day they are made, but are still good for another day or two.
My note: If you do keep it, you need to put it in a plastic bag. This keeps it from drying out to a crisp - especially the water version. Variations - Many. Herbs, cumin, seeds. If you start adding ingredients like sultanas, raisins, eggs, whisky, orange zest, blueberries, shortening (butter or lard) etc. you go into the realms of Spotted dog, railway bread and soda bread becomes like brioche and cake - where do you start?

I am always looking for frugal recipes. So when I compared the price of vinegar to lemons to buttermilk to citric acid, the no brainer is citric acid. We cannot taste the acid in the bread anyway. It is not like you want to make a vinegar bread. This is one recipe I will test and post about soon.



PROJECT LUNCHBOX 230315 : PATE AND BROCCOLI



I had always ever only made lunch boxes for others. I have never really spent great effort to make anything for myself. I thought that should change. And boy, have I been feeling the love. It is such a cosy feeling. 

I really value my own time in the evenings, working on my hobbies and catching up on my videos and movies. That makes my day worthwhile, it isn't about going to work in the morning and does that. Work doesn't mean much to me because it is a means to an end. It is just something that pays the bills. I have spent too much time and effort on work before that doesn't pay and appreciate back. So, the time I find to better myself at the end of each day is very valuable to me. 

In order to knock off on time, I make sure I finish my tasks quickly and off to my second leg of the day. It makes sense to do this then eating out too. I am not sure if there is a change in the hawker food culture in Singapore or that my taste and preference has changed for the better. I find hawker food satisfying but it doesn't satisfy me nutritiously. Affordable hawker food is mostly of carbs, noodles and rice with that token meat or vegetable. Especially vegetable! Sometimes the only vegetable on the dish is the spring onion garnish. Kid you not.

Hence, I have also included making lunch boxes for myself as part of my substantial after work days. And for Lunchbox 230315, I have learnt how to make a simple pate. How is that for awesome. Yeah, the photography is a bit crap from the warm light and mobile phone but I was beat after all that cooking.

THE GRID : AN INTUITIVE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN WEB DESIGN

I was thinking about the AI in this new way of web designing last night and I thought it is a very conducive package. The internet is a fairly new thing if you think about it, and with all the new e-commerce and mobile apps growing rampantly, the internet web templates have changed a few times already. And in the past year, we see that websites have changed again due to the rise of mobile surfing. I guess this more intuitive web interface would not solve the problem, but it will definitely be the next best solution before some genius figures out how to make our lives more dependent on the worldwide web with more devices and gadgets.

FOOD ILLUSTRATED FOR THE IGNORANT TRAVELLER


I stumbled upon this over the weekend and thought it is brilliant. I love aerial food shots, so this is really something up my alley. Imagine you are in a foreign land and the food looks dubious. This is an awesome way to spell out what went into the dish.

Fair enough that if you look closely at this image, there is nothing too clever about it. You can pick out what went into the ramen just by looking at the dish itself. I would probably replace some of the ingredients to their original state. The egg could be an egg in its shell, the whole carrot instead of its shredded version, some soy beans next to the miso and tofu...etc.


There is a dish in Singapore called 'Char Kway Teow' which is simply stir fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, egg, cockles, Chinese sausage, and fish cakes. However it looks extremely unappetising for a foreigner as it is fried with dark soy sauce and it looks like a pile of black mess. For those of you who have not tried it, you have to trust me that it is delicious and it is one of the national dishes of Singapore. But how would a foreign traveller try it if they do not know what is in this dish? Or if this dish has not already been popularised in travel guides and blogs.

This is an overview of the ingredients more or less. You do see very clearly that there is nothing menacing about this dish. In fact, the dark soy sauce makes it so morish as the sugar in it caramelises during the frying, coating the ingredients. In this day and age of food transparency, it helps to see what goes into our food, and that there is no canned or unhealthily processed stuff.

DETRIOT METAL CITY THE MOVIE

I went to watch this yesterday at a foreign film screening. Detroit Metal City was shot in 2009. It is a pretty old film, tacky and over the top but it was awesome. It was very entertaining.

Soichi Negishi moved to Tokyo to chase his dream of becoming a musician playing stylish, Swedish-style pop. Instead, he finds himself leading the death metal band Detroit Metal City, or DMC, as the costumed and grotesquely made-up "demon emperor" Johannes Krauser II. Although he hates the role and the things he has to do as a member of the band, he has a definite talent for it. Adapted from the hit Japanese comic book by Kiminori Wakasugi, the movie follows Negishi's antics as he tries to reconcile the two very different sides of his life and find out what it really means to achieve his dream.


LIFE IS A PICKLE ANYWAY. MIGHT AS WELL LEARN HOW TO MAKE IT WELL

Me on pickling this weekend: Life is a pickle anyway. Might as well learn how to make it well.

HAPPINESS 090315

DIVINE. BRAIN SLEEP, THE AWAKENING. OOMPH. FEELING IT. THIS IS THE TURN, I CAN FEEL IT. PASTIME. WHEN WILL BE THE NEXT TEXT?
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