Piaaaazzzzaaaaaahhhh!

Pizza goodness!

Do I have to say it? I LOVE cooking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ability to experiment, the moment when you see your results before you – steaming hot and fresh from the oven/pot…it’s surreal yet uplifting…

This definitely beats having frozen pizzas for dinner/lunch! XD

Homemade Gooey Pizza

Ingredients

(A) For the dough
240 gms semi-white flour
120 ml warm water
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
Slightly less than 1/2 tsp instant yeast

(B) The topping
Onions
Tuna
Fresh mushrooms
Smoked pork belly
Mozzarella cheese
Pesto sauce

Method

  1. Prepare (A) by following the bread machine’s instructions OR mix all together by hand and knead for 20 minutes before allowing the dough to rise for an hour.
  2. Finely slice the smoked pork belly into thin strips and do the same with the onions, fresh mushrooms and cheese.
  3. When the dough is ready, roll out thinly and place on a lightly floured pan or aluminium foil, drizzle olive oil on the top and bake in a preheated oven at 220 C for five minutes.
  4. Remove the pizza base from the oven and spread the pesto sauce over the dough before topping it with the rest of the ingredients ending with the cheese.
  5. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and sprinkle some cracked black pepper on the top before baking in the oven at 200 C until the crust turns golden brown.
  6. Serve as is with beer and/or Tabasco sauce.
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When in doubt, go for simple!

Spare ribs!

Char siew spare ribs with a plate of blanched lettuce topped with oyster sauce and spring onions always always works!!!!!!!!!

This dish was pretty easy – just marinate spare ribs with char siew sauce and let it sit overnight. Once it’s time for dinner, just bake at 200 C for half an hour – of course, one mustn’t forget to turn the ribs occasionally to get a nice caramel colour!

Simply YUMMEH!

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CPM vs people?

Being out of work means a few things – loss of income, not having to put up with crappy bosses and sub par work performance and corporate technical terms like CPM* or CRM.

Honestly, I don’t really know much about corporate performance management except that it helps organize and arrange business processes. The exact term – courtesy of Wikipedia – could be this:

It is a framework for organizing, automating and analyzing business methodologies, metrics, processes and systems that drive business performance.

Personally, I hope companies don’t forget that the first thing that drives a business are its employees. I have seen managers get all worked up over the numbers and percentages yet completely forget about the motivation and drive of their employees and team mates.

Maybe it’s because I’m not manager material…that’s why I can’t seem to understand the theories behind CPM. O’well…

* Please don’t mistake Corporate Performance Management (CPM) for Cost per Thousand.

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Granddad and his glasses…

My first memories of the magnifying glass was watching my wrinkled grandfather attempt to read a newspaper with something that looked as old as he was. Since he passed away, the magnifying glass he often used is left hidden away in one of the drawers at home. I never thought much about it…or him until I got this assignment.

Magnifying glasses have come a long way since my grandfather’s death. They have them on watches and in all sorts of sizes and shapes. If he was alive, my grandfather would have been the most stylish old gent around…at least in my eyes.

Truth be told, I don’t really know him that well. He passed away when I was around ten and before then, I didn’t speak much Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) so we weren’t exactly conversation buddies. I did remember my dad talking of his carefree personality and how he loved all his grandchildren, especially my brother and myself. We were the only ones in the family that carried names he personally gave…my other cousin’s names were bestowed by my grandmother.

I like to think that he was a gentle-hearted man who gave his children little material things but many important qualities like diligence, hard-work and appreciation for life itself. It was a pity that he died bedridden, after suffering from two strokes…but come to think of it, God must have loved him well enough.

Sometimes I think despite the fact that he used glasses to read, he could see clearer than any one of us. I wish I got to know him way better than I did.

Maybe in the future…

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Porridge = Gloom-buster!

Chicken + beef ball porridge

When the weather is gloomy, simple hot dishes are always good. Somehow it brings some heat and warmth along with it. For me anyway…

Today wasn’t a really great day for me. The lack of sunshine, continuous cold showers outsides plus the mood swings made me feel quite down and out. I thought of the things I would love to do at times like this and one of them was make a simple yet hearty porridge…with one exception. It wouldn’t be so hearty as how Mum makes them at home. I like my porridge watery…flavourful but watery. Kind of reminds me of soup and rice sometimes.

Chicken and beef ball porridge

Ingredients

Two handfuls of rice
Water (enough to fill at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the pot)
Beef mince
Chicken
Some dried scallops
Handful of fried shallots
Sesame oil
Ginger

(A) For the mince
Soya sauce
White pepper
Cornflour

Method

  1. Wash the rice and drain. Then add water, dried scallops, sesame oil and leave to boil.
  2. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  3. When the rice has softened and expanded, add in the ginger and sesame oil. Turn down the heat and let the porridge simmer.
  4. Add in the chicken and allow it to cook. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove and cool.
  5. Prepare the beef mince and form tiny balls. Drop these into the porridge. Start stirring again only after the beef balls are cooked.
  6. Continue stirring the porridge regularly while it simmers. Meanwhile shred the chicken and dump the shredded pieces into the porridge.
  7. The porridge is ready to eat depending on how you like it. (If you desire a thick consistency, allow it to simmer longer. Don’t forget to stir!)
  8. Serve with spring onions or ginger or as is.
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Moving…

It has been slightly over two weeks since we moved from our old place in Areuse to the new one and the whole experience has left me quite in awe of people who move homes on their own.

Even though the distance was near, the trouble was that most of our items were located in Lyon…about 100 kilometres away. This included our cupboard, bedframe, mattress, dining table and chairs plus a refrigerator and a whole big boatload of stuff. We couldn’t get hold of a professional moving company – well, honestly, we couldn’t afford one with all the cost in transporting things between countries…

BUT if we had the money, I’d have definitely hired one. For starters, we didn’t really know what we were doing – we just packed stuff in and shoved them into three HUGE cars, courtesy of my mother- and father-in-law. We certainly didn’t make a checklist, and our change of address was only done like one day before the actual move!!!!!!!!! I certainly couldn’t help with the move because I was pregnant which added to the tension.

After the whole thing was over, things were crazy – because we didn’t label the boxes, we didn’t know what we chuck in some and Nil spent a day looking for some photos that he was supposed to send back to his grandmother. I hate to say it but we were really out of our league with this move…

We should have done more, like check out professional moving companies for tips or even a checklist. If there is a ever a next time, you can bet that I’ll be on those sites ASAP!

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Knitting goodness – baby style!

Fall Baby Blanket

With less than nine months to go before Junior is due and before winter hits, I thought I had better get started on some serious baby knits. I have a few projects in mind and am definitely going to add more to the list once my yarn stash arrives from home (either end of this month or in June).

I’ll probably move the baby knits and related stuff over to the baby blog. I reckon it’ll be more suitable being discussed there than here but I’ll share pics here anyway. So here is the current list so far…

Now to turn on my knitting speed demon!

😀

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