Monday, April 21, 2014

Sweet Stuff!

Pampered by the bosses with flowers and hampers today.  It's Secretaries' Week!





Friday, April 18, 2014

Pesky Pigeons

昨晚我说什么来着? 今早窗外就传来咕咕声。探头一望,天啊果然是鸽子!

先是来了两只,


不久后又多冒一只。我就这样在近距离拍, 鸽子没丁点怕我的意思。喂! 当我是死人吗?


父亲看了鸽子特别乐,说它们会带给好运,还怂恿母亲喂它们。母亲当真抓了把米扔在窗底。

突然飞来了六, 七只一下子把米扫光。然后还打了起来!


窗下都是鸽大便。气死我也!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

莫当低头族2


猫之报恩(?)

离办公室不远的地铁站外有三只猫。从它们从出生的时候就住在那片草地上了。在附近上班或居住的爱猫族每天为它们带好吃的,把它们喂得胖嘟嘟。:-)

我每晚下班都乘地铁,经过空地总要数一数确定有三只。好多年了,已成习惯。猫儿多半几年回躺在大树下,似是数着匆匆赶着回家的行人。

某晚又经空地,见大树下坐者一男一女悄悄细语,一只猫躺在他们的脚下,其余两只不知所踪。

连接好几天都没有其它两只猫的踪影。有一晚突发奇想: 那一男一女其实是猫的化身,他们要向爱猫的人类报恩了!

 
 
PECKTRIFYING
 
我不是很喜欢鸽。偏偏在住家附近就有好多“好心人”每天扔面包皮,白饭之类的。一大群鸽子来袭,是挺可怕的一件事!




Monday, April 14, 2014

莫当低头族

昨天一早陪母亲到家附近的烧腊店买清明节拜拜用的烧鸡烧肉。那知今年店里换了位”掌门“,说要预订才有。”那我们没预订的怎办?”
 
店里有员工悄悄地告诉母亲 "您八点半再来一趟,我給您留一份。" 哇,真太好了!
但还要等一个多小时呢, 只好进市场里逛几圈咯。这一逛大有收获。


 
买到平时在wet market较少见到的 cherry tomato variety
 

and 超甜的韩国士多啤梨!
 
近日雨水不多, 太阳又凶,有些树木被嗮得干枯了。但也有花朵对阳光情有独中,竞相盛放,红白粉黄,四处可见。这个时候如果做低头族的话你很可能会错过哦!
 


 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mom's Tea-Time Favourite


Mom really loves “骆笨”.  If I haven't made them for some time, she would remind me that I still have dried fruits in the fridge. "Don't you think they'll be perfect for making 骆笨?" she would ask hopefully. 
 
I first learnt to make Rock Bun back in my secondary school days.  When I practise making them at home they turned out as hard as stone, which led my mother and my aunt to comment that its name befits it. In truth, the Rock Bun (or Rock Cake) is so called because it has a rough surface that resembles a rock. It originated in Great Britain during the Second World War, when strict rationing pushed families to create a tea-time treat that uses a lot less sugar and fewer eggs than regular cakes.
 
Yields 15
 
225 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
75 grams caster sugar, plus extra to finish
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
175 grams dried fruit, chopped
125 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 medium egg
About 25 ml milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
A good pinch of salt
 
Have ready one or two baking trays lined with non-stick paper, and preheat your oven at 200 degrees C.
 
Put the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl, add the cubed butter and rub it through evenly. Stir in the lemon zest and dried fruit.
 
Beat the egg with the milk in a jug or another bowl, along with the vanilla extract, then pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to a stiffish but spoonable dough – add a dash more milk, if you think it needs it.
 
Scoop egg-sized dollops of the dough on to the tray, keeping them rough looking, and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until just turning golden-brown.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tough Cookie


She and I aren't particularly close but since my great-grandfather and her grandfather shared the same grandfather (or was it great-grandfather?) I suppose it's fair to say that our families are related.  She is one tough cookie, this 84 year-old Aunt SS of mine.  Some years ago she suffered a stroke that left the right side of her body semi-paralysed.  Not allowing herself to bow down to fate, she was able to self-train her muscles until she was able to walk once again.  A few years later, she had a fall and laid on her bedroom floor for three days before being discovered by a neighbour. 
 
About a month ago, on a Sunday, she fell again and there she sat, inmobile, for two days. She was whisked off to the hospital by a friend who visited her on Tuesday.  This time she suffered a broken arm and was in the hospital for more than two weeks before being moved to St. Luke's to recuperate.
 
My mother and I try to visit her every Saturday afternoon.  We would bring her a treat every time.  One week it was dim sum, another week kuih pie tee.  Whatever it was, we'd made sure it was loaded up with chilli because Aunt SS once commented that "all food tastes blend without chilli."
 
This week Mom finally decided that "all outside food is loaded with MSG and we should try to bring her something homemade".  So I made something similar to the "pizza" two weeks ago.  I used French toast (cubed) as base for my pizza, top it up with stir-fried veggies and cheeses, remembering to pack in lots of dried chilli flakes.
 
Aunt SS devoured two trays of this simple creation in one sitting.  I think it was the chilli that sold them in!
 

 
We've experienced at least a month of dry spell.  The sun was burning hotter than ever yesterday afternoon and Mom commented on how abundantly all the flowers are blooming this past month. Then today it finally rained!
 
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Take the wrap



It’s TMD stressful having to support both ex and current (No, not boyfriends! Bosses! I mean bosses!) who are located in Europe and Asia respectively. When they both return to London next week, perhaps they should consider paying my salary in GBP while I work on London shift: 5PM to 2AM Singapore time, retire to bed at 7AM, wake up at 2PM ...

But I would hate to miss lunch so maybe it isn’t such a clever idea afterall.

Lunch time is the highlight of my day.  No matter how busy I am, I look forward to chilling out with my co-workers during lunch sessions.  During an especially hectic week, a few of us would bring our own lunch to the office. Usually it means reheating leftovers from the night before, or sandwiches thrown quickly together in the morning. This week I impressed my colleagues by making my own whole wheat wraps. I rolled out the dough into flat disks, placed them between plastic sheets and kept them in the fridge. Before I leave home in the morning, I’d remove a piece of dough from the fridge and quickly toast it on both sides in a frying pan. Fillings are usually fresh lettuce, tomato and boiled chicken breast, or a slice of turkey ham. The best part is: oiling the pan isn't necessary! Eating healthily has never been easier.

This afternoon I took a wrap and made a pizza out of it.  The toppings are simple - sliced fresh bell peppers and mushrooms, and two kinds of cheeses.





Preheat your oven at 200 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir-fry peppers and mushroom over medium heat until they soften. You may want to add a little salt to season.

Glaze wraps with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. Place them on prepared baking sheet. Spread cooked bell peppers and mushrooms over the dough. Top with grated cheeses (I used Mozzarella and Cheddar).

Bake until cheeses are bubbly.

If you so desire, you can dust with dried Italian herbs or chilli flakes before serving it hot.


Homemade wraps are very versatile.  How about a calzone?


Don't have an oven? Let Masa show you how to make pizza over a stove.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

All work and no ...

 
I'm sorry for the lack of buzz, folks.  I've been as busy as a bee. 
 
My endearing French boss has relocated to London to head up EMEA. Needless to say, I'm devastated! We've kept a really great working relationship for 8 years after all.  We'll have someone coming in from London to head up APAC.  I've heard many good things about my new boss so I'm sure I'll be fine.   For some reason, there is a lack of Executive Assistants in London at the moment so I’m helping both out during their transition. It’s like working two shifts – 9 to 6 on APAC, followed by 2 or 3 hours of EMEA work. I don't get out of the office, I pack lunch from home, I work and work, I seemingly have no life.  Absolutely crazy, if you think about it.
 
There’s the Regional Meeting in Hong Kong this week, which I spent a lot of time coordinating.  I won't get to travel to HK and I can't say I'm truly unhappy about it.  Still, it led me to miss my friends Anna, Ally, Cindy, Pearl and Tammy quite badly.  I also miss the homemade sesame cake, the 德成号家乡鸡蛋卷 , the roast goose, 菠萝包,蛋挞 … (sigh!)
 
But all is not lost! Salvation arrives the form of Chinese sausages from 荣华 Hong Kong. More accurately, from Jeremy who went to Hong Kong last week!  Who needs to go out and play when there are always good friends who bring endless supplies of good food? 

Never a dull moment, I tell you.