Out in the ‘burbs

I am the quintessential city girl – I like the bright lights and busy streets… Not so much the hordes of people but definitely the vibrancy that city life has to offer. Since moving to Perth though, I’ve truly come to love living out in the suburbs… The air is fresher, the streets less crowded and it just is more peaceful. I can actually hear myself think!

That being said, when it came time to think about accommodation, I was torn. As a young couple, living in the city would mean easy access to so much more. Plus, A wouldn’t have to travel almost 2 hours to and from work… And he would save on parking. In more ways than one, we would be saving. But out here in the ‘burbs, we’re close to family and we’re not subjected to the usual ruckus that comes with city living (read: noisy drunks and crazies screaming out of cars in the middle of the night because they have nothing better to do with their lives). Also, I will miss having beautiful sights – like the Simpsons cartoon-looking sky peppered with clouds – right at our doorstep:

Lush greenery though, isn’t a valid – nor practical enough – argument to remain in the suburbs. We know that our time for city living, so to speak, is now and that we’ll be back in the ‘burbs before we know it. I know too, that we will find our own little patch of serenity in the city and we don’t have to look very far beyond our own home =) I mean, there’s nothing blocking our view:

So yes, in no time at all, we’ll be receiving our keys to the apartment! With a little touching up here and there, we will be calling it our home =)

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Recipe: Choc Chip Cookies

Anyhoo, I’ve been doing a fair bit of experimenting in the kitchen and figured I really should document it since I adapt recipes where necessary. In the past, my excuse for not cooking or baking was work. Truth – I would sometimes only get home in the wee hours of the morning… By the time the weekend rolled around, all I wanted to do was sleep in front of the telly. All. Day. Long. Well, gone are those days of yore, for now at least. So as much as I adore eating great food, as does A – there is also such joy and a great sense of satisfaction in producing edible delights for the people I love. Living my current life of leisure, I decided there really is no better time than the present to get cracking.

I never used to consider myself much of a baker but having, in recent years, developed quite the sweet tooth, I’ve harboured the idea of being able to recreate some of my favourite desserts at home. Ice-cream as you should or would know, REALLY GETS ME GOING. Durian ice-cream specifically but I’ll leave that story to another post. Since we’re holding off getting an ice-cream machine until we’ve procured all the home essentials, I probably will not be experimenting with ice-cream/sorbet recipes till much later… In any case, there are heaps on my “to bake” including Pandan Chiffon Cake, Creme Brulee, cheesecakes (of all shapes, colours and flavours) so I will be suitably occupied for months to come.

The first recipe I tried out was for chocolate chip cookies and even though the texture of the cookies aren’t exactly what I was after, A loves them so this has been stored in my vault of “go to” recipes. The original recipe can be found HERE and the following is my adaptation:

Ingredients: 
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
3 cups plain flour (sifted)
Chocolate chips – as many as your heart desires! Mine are from the Margaret River Chocolate Factory =)

Directions:
1.   Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
2.   Cream butter and sugars together for about 5 minutes, until light and creamy. Add vanilla extract and eggs.
3.   In a separate bowl mix salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sift flour.
4.   Add dry ingredients slowly to wet while mixing.  Do not over mix.
5.   Add chocolate chips.
6.   Place dough balls that are about the size of a golf ball on un-greased baking paper.
7.   Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Time will vary depending on ovens and the size of your dough balls but you want to take them out just as the tops and sides start to golden.
8.   Let cool on a sheet for 3 minutes. Once they set in about 15 minutes, they will be ready to eat.

This is a super easy recipe to follow and the cookies are similar to those sold at Subway! I used this recipe even before I realised that there’s an awesome food processor sitting in the store room… Which really means I didn’t actually have to cream the butter and sugars by hand. But I did. And the cookies still turned out fiiine. Except I didn’t space them out properly before I popped them into the oven and got this:

What a hoot! I mean, they were edible but dear lord, were they ugly or what?! It pays to learn from your mistakes in the kitchen and now, I produce batch after batch of these…

PS: If you decide not to bake every ounce of the cookie dough you’ve whipped up, just pack it away in an airtight container and freeze. I like it that I have some dough to play with on those odd afternoons I suddenly feel like baking!

The Story of Us

As the title of this entry goes, this is going to be a post about A and I! If you know about this blog, you’re going to already know about us but I want to publish this just for posterity anyways =)

My father and A’s parents had been friends for many MANY years – they grew up in the same kampung. When A’s parents got married, my father was their best man, so yes, we go back a lonnng way. I mean, A was at the hospital when I was first born! Growing up, we would always attend birthday parties together… go to the zoo or funfairs… Apparently, A thought I was a lot of fun to “hang” with and would always be excited if his parents mentioned a day out with my family =P For his sake (because my bubby’s shy like that), I will qualify that his parents didn’t have too many friends with children my age, which explains why A thought I was so much fun because he just didn’t have other play dates to choose from.

Alas, the young lovers were torn apart when A’s parents decided to migrate to Perth when he was only 8… Some 4 years later, we made a trip down under for a holiday and it was then I decided I had the BIGGEST crush on A – like, I would write entries in my diary about how he would never know I like him and siiggh, he’s sooo handsome and boohoohoo he liked some girl in school… I wish I still had that diary because it would be such a RIOT to read! Anyhoo, it was a lovely 2 weeks spent in Perth and aside from all the sightseeing we did together, the one thing I remember most vividly is sleeping on A’s shoulder every time we were in the car… Most times I was well and truly tired from the long rides but at other times, I was really just pretending to sleep =P

As life would have it, everyone eventually went their separate ways… Years later, I would return to Australia and in fact, have fleeting contact via SMS with A’s older brother who had just moved to Sydney but no meetings arose from those exchanges. I eventually moved back to Singapore and that was that really… Also I’d misplaced the SIM card with all my Aussie contacts, so it truly sucked to be me then. It didn’t help of course that I wasn’t on speaking terms with my father, thus all hopes of “reuniting” with A were SHOT.

This, of course, was before social media exploded into our lives… To cut the long story short, I would like to thank Facebook (or the creators of) for without which, A and I would not be together today. Life/Fate/Destiny/God sure works in mysterious ways… It wasn’t as if I’d never attempted trawling him out in the past… I mean, we had FRIENDSTER! And we all know how much of a successful voyeur I can be. It just didn’t make any sense at all that I couldn’t locate him any earlier… So I suppose it holds true that all the pieces just fall into place when the time is right.

Everything in His time, I say… Everything in His time.

Manic (Monday) Mornings

It sure is good to be back in Perth! As much as I love Bangkok, the crazy traffic, crowded sidewalks, terrible pollution and INTENSE HEAT become a little unbearable after a while. Small doses of Bangkok for me, thankyouverymuch. More on all the spa/massage treatments A and I enjoyed when we were in Bangkok in the next post because today, I’d like to give you a little taste of what goes on in my day… Or at least, in the mornings.

I get asked ALOT about how I’m faring in Perth, what with A at work most of the day… As you probably already know, I can be quite the loner AKA a laaazzy muthaf*cker. Sitting around at home, not doing very much at all suits me just fine! Honestly. I will, of course, get busier in the months to come but for now, this is “me” time and I’m enjoying it perfectly, that is, simply being a couch potato and watching all the TV I possibly can. And trust me, I can watch ALOT of TV. But again, I’m sure you already know that.

Since I don’t get to see A all day, I like to at least be able to give him a kiss goodbye, before he heads off to work. My day essentially starts at approximately 6.30am every weekday morning when his alarm goes off. And friends, the alarm is LOUD. Anyhoo, being the Nazi that I can be, I would at intervals attempt to wake A up. He is, in reality, very good about waking up and getting to work on-time but who doesn’t like a little sleep-in right? I, on the other hand, am just a damn worrywart and would much prefer that he awakes at the crack of dawn, when his VERY LOUD alarm rings.

I then proceed to prepare his breakfast which the poor dear has to eat while battling peak hour traffic on his way to work =( He likes his jam and toast but I sometimes shake things up a bit (whoooo~ living on the edge I am!) and put together some chocolate croissants instead… Can I just add that chocolate spread comes from chocolate buttons which I lovingly melt over the stove =)

When A is finally dressed and ready to hit the road, he cannot just pass “Go”; he has to take his vitamins! I have become Sharon and Alana’s mothers *LOL*

If we’re “on schedule”, my boyfriend is out of the house by 7.30am at the latest which is also the time I, erm, head back to bed. By this time, I’m usually fairly awake and would read a little or watch an episode of my shows until I fall asleep.

Am I lazy? YES! Do I love it? YES YES!! Is it boring? Nooo… We’ve got a great little morning routine going for us and it pleases me to no end to be able to simply spread some jam on pieces of toast and pack it away for A everyday. My mummy used to tell me to cheer up and start the day on a good note… FINALLY mummy, here I am – right where and how you’ve always wanted me to be! Instead of having someone (read: my brother) bring me my school shoes, I’m now fussing over someone else =)

… and it sure feels good!

scratch the itch

My my my – how I’ve been itching to write again!

With time on my hands, I figured there’s no better time to scratch that itch to write. Plus it’ll help keep friends and family updated – somewhat – on my life. Lord knows I’m terrible with emails 😛 Some years have passed since I first started blogging and I hope I’ve become a little wiser. Instead of ramblings and pieces of too personal information that should really be kept to myself, this new little project of mine will document highlights of this new journey on which I have currently embarked.

Expect travel adventures, culinary disasters (and successes, hopefully!) and above all else, a lot of love =) Because that’s what makes my world go round!

Being of an Obsessive-Compulsive sort of personality, I just had to have my first post published on 1 May 2011. Just back to reality after a short and hectic holiday in Bangkok, Thailand, I am raring to go! Glad to be back where walkways are walkways and I can stroll through flea markets in peace, knowing that I’m not going to have to gingerly step aside for a revving scooter which really, should not be anywhere near pedestrians.

I’ll end off by counting my blessings because I’m a lucky lucky girl and extremely blessed to be able to be living here in Perth, Australia with my darling boyfriend and to have the support of friends and family near and far. I only hope I will do everyone proud and be the best that I can be every single day.

xoxo