Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Almost gone

Phew for a moment I thought rosietheposie had disappeared from the blogosphere! Time for a revival. But do I actually have the time?..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's been awhile...

It's been ages since my last blog entry. More than a half a year ago. Lots took place since then, and lots to look forward to as well.

We're now expecting our second child, due to arrive soon. The morning sickness this time around was not as bad as the first time. But it was still that icky nausea feeling nevertheless. And that partly explains my long hiatus from the blogosphere.

We've moved back to our hometown. Hopefully permanently. We don't have our own place yet so I haven't been cooking for quite awhile. I actually miss cooking for my two lovely guinea pigs!

Exciting (and headache) times ahead: planning for a new home, new baby, going back into the work field...

*Thank you dear Lord for your abundant blessings*

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Name Is...

Annabel started to say her full name sometime last week, at 29 months. Of course prompting was required initially. It was always difficult to get her to 'act' the part whenever we want to video her. So this video shows her jumping while saying her name. Enjoy!

Annabel Elisha Rajah!

Whatever Will Be Will Be

I'm wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'.. plannin' and dreamin'..
We can only do so much but God decides.
Whatever happens, we will definitely make the best of it.
Whatever will be, will be, for God knows best!

Busygran's Stewed Chicken in Soya Sauce

Came across this simple and easy recipe from Busygran's blog. I knew I just had to try it. I added some oyster mushrooms and sneaked in another tablespoon of chinese cooking wine. Besides that, I was true to her recipe. Really simple and yummy.

Fried Eggs with Onions and Soya Sauce

Eggs are so versatile. You can steam them, fry them, poach them, hard-/soft-boiled them and loads more. And if you're feeling lazy but still need to cook, egg is the answer! I was having one of those lazy days. And instead of the usual fried eggs, I decided to add some 'flavour' to the eggs - stir-fried onions with kicap.

It's so easy - stir-fry the onions and add some cili padi. Then add in light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, sugar, a pinch of pepper and a little water. Stir and mix the ingredients well before dumping everything on the eggs.

A Typical HK Breakfast

These are char siew paus hubby bought for breakfast from a nearby pau shop. The ones back home can be quite dry. I like mine with (sufficient) gravy oozing out. Hubby dear, it's time for another round of 'pau breakfast'!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fusion Curry

Chicken curry is one of the dishes that I now can cook without looking at the recipe *ehem*. I joked with hubby that now I can cook it with my eyes closed! Although I am quite satisfied with my chicken curry (dry or with gravy), I think it can still be improved. But fish curry is a different story altogether. I was never really satisfied with my fish curry. I can never get that same taste as my MIL's no matter how I followed her recipe. Probably I haven't cook enough and I think I need to sit through a cooking session with her!

Last week I tried cooking a fusion chicken curry. Fusion because I had in mind to add in some lychees! I could almost hear hubby shrieking there! And I did. I first had this lychee in a curry experience at a nearby Thai restaurant in the form of a bowl of yummy Thai green curry. What a pleasant surprise I had, to find the lychee sweetness amidst the richness of the curry. Then I stumbled upon a blogger Rita's grilled chicken red curry with lychee recipe, and thought to myself that it should be alright to add in lychees in any chicken curry recipes (with gravy). And so I did.
My fusion chicken curry with gravy. A combination of recipes from MIL, mom and my own.
How to:
1. Marinate chicken with garlic-ginger paste, curry powder and light soya sauce overnight.
2. Heat oil. Throw in cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise and cloves. Stir a little and add in chopped/ground shallots. Stir till fragrant.
3. Then put in the marinated chicken and mix well. Add in the curry paste and enough water to cover the chicken. More gravy = more water (add in ground almonds or cashews for thicker gravy - a tip I got from mom). Throw in some potatoes. Let the mixture simmer. Add milk / coconut milk / yoghurt and continue simmering.
4. When the curry is almost done, add in the tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, lime juice, lychees (with a little syrup), and salt to taste. Simmer a little bit more and your curry is ready!
I like it! And it could certainly do with more lychees and syrup (I was a bit careful with how much lychees I put in as I'm not sure if it'll turn out alright). But hubby doesn't seem to quite fancy this dish. He said it's as if the lychees accidentally dropped into the pot of curry!! Yup he's a stickler to traditions esp when it comes to the food he's used to!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Local Pudding

Got these cuties (and yummies) from hubby's patient. Looks like the wood husks pudding from Your Restaurant (as stated in my makan guidebook "Eat Your Way Around HK") but cuter.

Yummy pudding layered with biscuit crumbs...

... superb combination.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chap Chye Inspired Fried Bihun

As the title says it, this bihun was cooked using the basic ingredients of the chap chye dish. This is my second bihun attempt. The first was a 'disaster' and from there I learnt that hubby likes his with some colour! Since he likes taucheo-based dishes, I surely cannot go wrong with this! His verdict: so much better than the first time.

Oyster Egg

Had been asking hubby to tapau back some 'oh-chean' or oyster egg (?) for supper and so finally hubby did with the help of HL ;p

Seriously no big deal (HL already warned us). I very much prefer the ones in Mlk. This one somehow had a very mild porky sort of after taste. Hubby was saying that they used the same wok. And it didn't help that no chili sauce came with the 'oh-chean' - only a small packet of fish sauce, which we discarded.

However the one thing that I like about it was the generous amount of oysters!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wesley Stace

Discovered one Wesley Stace while on facebook last night. A friend uploaded a pic of the book cover of Misfortune (the purplish one) and that got me intrigued. So off I went and googled for the author. I wasn't disappointed. His writings look interesting. Only thing is that HKU library didn't have his books!

Review by Colin Greenland on The Guardian

One day in 1820 Lord Geoffroy Loveall, the fey, neurotic heir to the richest estate in Britain, traverses the capital on a pointless errand from his mother. At the foot of a putrid, mountainous rubbish tip he spots a dog carrying a ragged bundle in its mouth. On an inexplicable, uncharacteristic whim, he sends his manservant to investigate. Inside the rags they find a human baby. Lord Geoffroy decides to adopt it and bring it up as his own. He will call it Dolores, after his beloved little sister killed some two dozen years earlier in a fall from a tree. Dolores will be his heir, the next Lady Loveall. There is only one difficulty with his plan. The baby is a boy.

Misfortune, Wesley Stace's first novel, is the story of that boy. Renamed Rose, he is brought up by his doting father and Anonyma Wood, the Love Hall librarian, whom he has married for the purpose. Though she connives at her husband's wilful delusion out of consideration for his fragile wits, Anonyma has in any case contracted a metaphysical passion for androgyny from Mary Day, a visionary poetess she studies obsessively. Innocent of the machinations that surround and support him, Rose enjoys a blissful childhood. It's after that that the trouble starts.

Despite its setting, a glorious facsimile dustjacket, and the rich Gothic potential of the material, Misfortune is no kind of 19th-century novel, not even a pastiche. Conversant with the scientific principles of psychology, from unconscious sabotage through "gender roles" all the way to "conflicted feelings", Lord Rose is a creation as anachronistic as he is anomalous.

Structurally, too, the book is flexible and free. The opening chapter - the best, in many ways - is a vigorous, omniscient narrative (by God, as Rose afterwards explains) which takes the viewpoint of Pharaoh, the autistic boy sent out to dump the baby. In the second, God switches viewpoints to Lord Geoffroy's own, to relate his momentous discovery and its immediate effects. After that, we descend into a memoir dictated by Rose himself in old age, though even that will be interrupted, when he collapses in Turkey, by an excerpt from the journal of the archaeologist's daughter who nurses him back to health.

Chapter by chapter, twist after twist, Stace conducts a rationalist, secular study of sexual politics, of the glory and the grief of enforced transvestism. Though many incidents of his life are dismissed with the baldest summary, the successive formative sexual crises of the boyhood of Lord Rose are described in detail that is explicit, not to say excitable. A great deal of straddling takes place. Skirts, his own and others', are teasingly hitched up before being defiantly hoisted. Few novels can have devoted so much attention, or so much sympathy, to the anguish of erection to a young man alienated from his own penis.

Born in Hastings, resident in Brooklyn, Stace is also a professional musician, performing as John Wesley Harding. There is something musical, almost symphonic, about the sweep of his novel, its single-minded pursuit of themes through sections strongly distinct in mood and approach. He clearly knows several albums' worth of ballads about young women dressed as men, and enough associated folktales and classical myths for a thesis in anthropology. In a sense, it's these old tales that are to blame for the book's one catastrophic flaw, which is the thumping great coincidence that you start to foresee somewhere around page 35. "Surely he wouldn't," you think; and then, with a growing sense of dread: "Surely he won't." But he would, and a great meal he makes of it when he finally does.

Coincidence, as a plot device, is absolutely fundamental to the dynamics of ballad and folktale. It's a device that Shakespeare and Dickens were happy to perpetuate. But Misfortune isn't a ballad, or an Elizabethan play, or a popular novel of the 19th century. It's a novel of 2005. It wears its liberal political conscience on its sleeve. It engages boldly, even polemically, with the forces of social oppression and sexual repression. And coincidences like this one make the world seem suddenly very much less various and capacious, not more.

Review by Patrick Ness on The Guardian

You may not like to admit it, but I'm certain you have them, too: those subjects which when approaching a book - no matter how interesting the novelist, how well-regarded the novel - can't help but make your heart sink, even though you know they shouldn't. I'm not sure I could bear another American civil war novel, especially ones written by white southerners about other white southerners who treated their slaves really well. Ditto tragic coming-of-age stories set during Northern Ireland's Troubles, and I'm afraid middle-class New York post-9/11 tales are also working their way off the menu.

Had I even known there was such a thing as a ventriloquist novel, I might have put it top of the list. Ventriloquists are even creepier than clowns; men who dress their id up as a green duck in a nappy or a Parkinson-biting emu? Surely a novel about them could only be a Hammer-style horror show. Yet lo and behold, here's Wesley Stace's overcrowded but entertaining By George, about ventriloquists and their "boys" (the term they prefer to "dummy"), and it manages to be touching and engrossing rather than just disconcertingly odd.

Evie Fisher, aka Echo Endor, and her "boy" Narcissus are grand stars of the pre-second world war variety stage. Voted Ventriloquist of the Year three times in a row, Evie doesn't quite put the "evil" in vaudeville, but she's still imperious, demanding and entirely controlling of her son Joe. He's working on a different sort of voice-throwing act, but Echo buys him a "boy" called George anyway, more or less forcing him to follow in her footsteps.

In 1973, meanwhile, 11-year-old George Fisher, Joe's grandson and named after his dummy, is bewilderingly packed away to boarding school. His mother Frankie took up the vaudeville life of her family and tours the country in pantos or farces with titles like Exit, Pursued Bare. George is used to travelling with her and grandmother Queenie and is mystified to be sent away, unsure even how the fees are being paid.

He grows lonely, and when his great-grandmother Evie dies, George begins to pore over the books left to him in her bequest, books written by his grandfather Joe that hint at the powers of ventriloquism and reveal family secrets that George starts to wish he'd never learnt. Joe, it seems, fled from his marriage to Queenie and into Ensa, the second world war troop-entertainment organisation, performing his act on the frontlines and dying a hero in Italy, though not before falling in love with someone entirely surprising.

These overlapping stories sound confusing, and they often are, especially because the second world war storyline seems to be narrated by none other than Joe's dummy George. Puppet George even falls in love himself with a beautiful female dummy (a "girl"?) called Belle. But there is more to be revealed, probably too much, as the last section takes a less energetic detour into living, breathing George's own parentage and depressive illness.

Stace is the real name of the folk-singer John Wesley Harding, and this is his second novel since Misfortune, a gender-bending Victorian tale that was longlisted for the Guardian first book award. Stace's grandfather was a real Ensa ventriloquist, and the materials are a rich bouquet that needs more space to breathe. In a country where short works are given primacy, it may seem a peculiar criticism to say that By George could benefit from another 100 pages. Stace, though, is a Victorian novelist at heart and clearly yearns for a bigger canvas. But there's still good fun to be had, smart set-pieces, and ultimately proof that a novel about ventriloquists needn't be at all creepy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not Tuckshop but Canteen

This is another one of our frequently visited cafe esp for sunday lunches (but it seemed less often these days. hmmm.. thanks to the delightful temptations from Tsui Wah). Canteen has a concept somewhat like Cafe de Coral and the likes - fast food HK style.
HK style milk tea. I like.

Hubby's bbq pork and chicken combo meal.

The ginger dipping sauce that comes with it. Sorry no chili sauce here.

My stir-fry beef rice noodles. Not bad but it was a little on the oily side.

The Dessert Shop Opposite Our Flat

Sweet Classroom opened sometime last year but we only went there last month, twice at that! Here are the collection of photos from those two visits.

Supposed to be Sweet Classroom but it looked more like Smeet Classroom! That's HK for you!!

Interior deco pt one.

Interior deco pt two.

Sweet potato with ginger syrup. Reminded me home.

Mini chocolate cake with some melted choc action inside, and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side.

Mango galore - ice-cream, pudding and the fruit.

Apple strudel with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side.

Annabel enjoying her dessert with Aunty HL.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Conversations Pt Two

When she does something wrong or when she knows that I'm not happy with her, "Sorry mommy.." At times through sobs.. awww..
"Papa, throw the rubbish!" Bel on repeating what I said.

I was playfully nibbling her arm when she said, "What you doing mommy? Don't eat my hand. You only eat your food!"

Mommy: Do you want to touch Pepper?
Bel: No. Pepper dirty. Only Kong Kong touch Pepper!!
Pepper is my seven-year old daschund.

While bathing she likes taking the shower head and 'bathe' by herself. She will go, "I wash my armpits, I wash shoulders, my body, my backside, my knees, my toes, my mouth, my neck... oh no I forgot to wash my ears!!" Yes, she is a real mak nenek!

Mommy: What's your favourite cartoon?
Bel: Hmmm... spongebob squarepants and the fairly odd parents!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spicy Fried Chicken, Alesia's Way

I drooled over the pics of Alesia the home cook's ayam goreng berempah and so therefore decided to try the recipe. This I would say was the best batch of fried chicken that I've ever cooked (I still haven't mastered the art of deep frying). But it can still be improved. I didn't have cumin and coriander seeds so I only made do with powdered ones.

The egg and flour gave the chicken a crispy skin-like texture. Nice.